I have wanted to do a regular post to motivate myself to come up with content that would stimulate discussion and make my brain move. I’m hoping that this will be that vehicle.
This week’s big idea comes from my friend Phillip Bannowsky. Some day I’ll be drummed out of the corps for having him as a friend, but his wit, wisdom and creativity will make my eventual dispatch to the Gulags of Alabama all worth it.
He has a post up on his blog that uses a book review of the new book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander to analyze the State of Delaware’s disproportionate number of black and brown citizens impacted by incarceration and it’s after-effects. It is timely, to me, because I am reading Slavery by Another Name about the Jim Cow era slavery that hinged on the systematic incarceration on petty (and often bogus) “crimes” and the indentured servitude of the deep south’s prison industrial complex.
In Delaware, this may still be an issue, since there has recently been a scandal in the Sussex prison involving a large number of inmates that have been sent out on work details for YEARS without any record of it having been done. One of the benefactors is even a legislator. If there is no records, who paid whom for the prisoners time and effort? How much did they pay? How much of it went to the inmates and their restitution that they may owe to victims or for their pocket upon release?
Phillip’s solution is to end the failing “War on Drugs” and abolition of the prison system. I am certainly on-board for te first part. The War on Drugs has been a massive failure that our politicians can’t seem to admit, for fear of looking weak on crime. The abolition of the prison system is perhaps clumsily worded, but on it’s face seems like a bridge too far to me.
What do you think?