How the poor fill cities’ coffers

screenshot-2017-02-16-20-09-51It seems that over the past couple of weeks with each article I read or each documentary I watch there is something in the documentary or the video that has to do with the prison industrial complex.

That has become a reoccurring theme for me and these blog posts. I understand this week’s documentary on Ferguson focused on the mistreatment of blacks and the impoverished, but a lot of this went back to systems put into place so that certain people are targeted to be arrested or stopped by the police. These systems are put in place by corporations that have invested money into private prison systems. These systems make sure that police departments meet a certain arrest and lock-up quotas.

Meeting these quotas is much easier when you target people of color, who are already heavily discriminated against, and when you target poor people who these departments know will not be able to pay fines.

When these groups of people get stopped and receive these fines, if they can’t pay it they sit in jail until a court date that could be weeks away.

screenshot-2017-02-16-20-09-58They don’t get to change their clothes, or shower and they sit in a cell where a lot of people lose hope and lose their minds, because human beings aren’t meant to be kept in cages, ESPECIALLY if they’re in there because they can’t pay a fine. The prison industrial complex uses these tactics and though it looks like the cities are responsible, that isn’t the case. The corporations that are invested in the prisons understand that it’s only a matter of time before these people go to the prisons so they can make a profit off of them.

Corporations also understand that people being targeted probably have other offenses already on their record, and this will expedite the process of an individual going to a prison instead of a jail, where the money can start rolling in for these private companies. In this country, things are all about the money instead of trying to help the people in poverty, so that if they have actually received a fine for the right reason they will be able to pay it and continue with their lives instead of a having their lives and freedom taken away.

By Donald Scott

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