Just finished “binge watching” the second season of “Orange is the New Black.” It is a finely crafted tapestry of social commentary, policy analysis, realism, questioning of generally accepted stereotypes, morality, and humanity–this series weaves this issues together into an entertaining dark comedy. It is a provocative body of work that should make us all look a little closer look in the mirror to examine our own beliefs and true feelings in the larger public policy context as well as in that of our own lives and the lives of people we know. Many of the people I know have a relationship of some kind with someone–relative or within their social circle–who is or has been incarcerated. Do you?
Wildly disproportionate rates of incarceration and forced labor of status-offending young black boys and men, immigrants held in detention and a growing number of black and Latina girls, raises many questions about who we are as Americans and the values and morals we claim. Do they really mean anything in the behavior of our institutions in the real world? Truth be told, they mean very little of you are of color and poor.
We are a nation that has made incarceration a profitable industry. It does not produce jobs–inmates do the work. It does not rehabilitate-punishment is the point. It is draconian-among the most brutal in the world. It is destroying lives and families for generations to come. Corporations make money based on the number of prison beds they keep filled. It is a shame that this is who we have become. #prison #incarceration #disparate impact