The progression always goes----far-right loss of morality, ethics, and Rule of Law leads to fascism and sadism. As our military ethics erode the leadership becomes more heavily staffed with people who circumvent International Human Rights laws===and the same is true in our US prisons.
THE US HAS HAD PRISONS RANKED THIRD WORLD FOR THESE FEW DECADES----NO LONGER A DEVELOPED NATION.
Everyday Sadists Take Pleasure In Others’ Pain
Most of the time, we try to avoid inflicting pain on others — when we do hurt someone, we typically experience guilt, remorse, or other feelings of distress. But for some, cruelty can be pleasurable, even exciting. New research suggests that this kind of everyday sadism is real and more common than we might think.
Two studies led by psychological scientist Erin Buckels of the University of British Columbia revealed that people who score high on a measure of sadism seem to derive pleasure from behaviors that hurt others, and are even willing to expend extra effort to make someone else suffer.
IN THE WORLD OF ALLOWING PEOPLE TO DO ANYTHING THEY WANT AS A HUMAN RIGHT---WE SEE CLASSES OF ABUSE AND IMPRISONMENT.
11. WE'RE ALWAYS INNOCENT TILL PROVEN GUILTY
We're Always Innocent Till Proven Guilty
1. Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defense.
2. No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.
The idea anyone can use the word ONLY in this title shows how far from the best in the world in quality of life and human rights we have fallen.
10 of the Worst Prisons in the World—Only 5 Are American
The worst prisons in the world combine torture, corruption and eternities of solitary confinement making these lockups unusually cruel punishment.September 26, 2012 Andrew Freeman
How Prison Labor is the New American Slavery and Most of Us Unknowingly Support it
June 13, 2016 at 11:58 pm
If you buy products or services from any of the 50 companies listed below (and you likely do), you are supporting modern American slavery
American slavery was technically abolished in 1865, but a loophole in the 13th Amendment has allowed it to continue “as a punishment for crimes” well into the 21st century. Not surprisingly, corporations have lobbied for a broader and broader definition of “crime” in the last 150 years. As a result, there are more (mostly dark-skinned) people performing mandatory, essentially unpaid, hard labor in America today than there were in 1830.
With 5 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of the world’s prison population, the United States has the largest incarcerated population in the world. No other society in history has imprisoned more of its own citizens. There are half a million more prisoners in the U.S. than in China, which has five times our population. Approximately 1 in 100 adults in America were incarcerated in 2014. Out of an adult population of 245 million that year, there were 2.4 million people in prison, jail or some form of detention center.
The vast majority – 86 percent – of prisoners have been locked up for non-violent, victimless crimes, many of them drug-related.
Big Business is making big bucks off of prison labor:
While prison labor helps produce goods and services for almost every big business in America, here are a few examples from an article that highlights the epidemic:
Whole Foods – You ever wonder how Whole Foods can afford to keep their prices so low (sarcasm)? Whole Foods’ coffee, chocolate and bananas might be “fair trade,” but the corporation has been offsetting the “high wages” paid to third-world producers with not-so-fair-wages here in America.
The corporation, famous for it’s animal welfare rating system, apparently was not as concerned about the welfare of the human “animals” working for them in Colorado prisons until April of this year.
You know that $12-a-pound tilapia you thought you were buying from “sustainable, American family farms?” It was raised by prisoners in Colorado, who were paid as little as 74 cents a day. And that fancy goat cheese? The goats were raised and milked by prisoners too.
McDonald’s – The world’s most successful fast food franchise purchases a plethora of goods manufactured in prisons, including plastic cutlery, containers, and uniforms. The inmates who sew McDonald’s uniforms make even less money by the hour than the people who wear them.
Wal-Mart – Although their company policy clearly states that “forced or prison labor will not be tolerated by Wal-Mart,” basically every item in their store has been supplied by third-party prison labor factories. Wal-Mart purchases its produce from prison farms, where laborers are often subjected to long hours in the blazing heat without adequate food or water.
Victoria’s Secret – Female inmates in South Carolina sew undergarments and casual-wear for the pricey lingerie company. In the late 1990’s, two prisoners were placed in solitary confinement for telling journalists that they were hired to replace “Made in Honduras” garment tags with “Made in USA” tags.
AT&T – In 1993, the massive phone company laid off thousands of telephone operators—all union members—in order to increase their profits. Even though AT&T’s company policy regarding prison labor reads eerily like Wal-Mart’s, they have consistently used inmates to work in their call centers since ’93, barely paying them $2 a day.
BP (British Petroleum) – When BP spilled 4.2 million barrels of oil into the Gulf coast, the company sent a workforce of almost exclusively African-American inmates to clean up the toxic spill while community members, many of whom were out-of-work fisherman, struggled to make ends meet. BP’s decision to use prisoners instead of hiring displaced workers outraged the Gulf community, but the oil company did nothing to reconcile the situation.
The full list of companies implicated in exploiting prison labor includes:
Bank of America
Eli Lilly and Company
Johnson and Johnson
Procter & Gamble
While not all prisoners are “forced” to work, most “opt” to because life would be even more miserable if they didn’t, as they have to purchase pretty much everything above the barest necessities (and sometimes those too) with their hard-earned pennies. Some of them have legal fines to pay off and families to support on the outside. Often they come out more indebted than when they went in.
“Prison farms” aka “modern plantations”
In places like Texas, however, prison work is mandatory and unpaid – the literal definition of slave labor.
According the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, prisoners start their day with a 3:30 a.m. wake-up call and are served breakfast at 4:30 a.m. All prisoners who are physically able are required to report to their work assignments by 6 a.m.
“Offenders are not paid for their work, but they can earn privileges as a result of good work habits,” the website says.
Most prisoners work in prison support jobs, like cooking, cleaning, laundry, and maintenance, but about 2,500 of them work in the Texas prison system’s own “agribusiness department,” where they factory-farm 10,000 beef cattle, 20,000 pigs and a quarter million egg-laying hens. The prisoners also produce 74 million pounds of livestock feed per year, 300,000 cases of canned vegetables, and enough cotton to clothe themselves (and presumably others). They also work at meat packaging plants, where they process 14 million pounds of beef and 10 million pounds of pork per year.
While one of the department’s stated goals is to reduce operational costs by having prisoners produce their own food, the prison system admittedly earns revenue from “sales of surplus agricultural production.”
Prisoners who refuse to work – again, unpaid – are placed in solitary confinement. When asked if Texas prisons still employ “chain gangs” in the FAQ section, the department responds:
“No, Texas does not use chain gangs. However, offenders working outside the perimeter fence are supervised by armed correctional officers on horseback.”
Similar “prison farms” exist in Arizona, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio and other states, where prisoners are forced to work in agriculture, logging, quarrying and mining. Wikipedia says while the agricultural goods produced on prison farms is generally used to feed prisoners and other wards of the state (orphanages and asylums) they are also sold for profit.
In addition to being forced to labor directly for the profit of the government, inmates may be “farmed out” to private enterprises, through the practice of convict leasing, to work on private agricultural lands or related industries (fishing, lumbering, etc.). The party purchasing their labor from the government generally does so at a steep discount from the cost of free labor.
We can shout until we are blue in the face against this soaring prison populations tied to soaring unemployment and impoverishment----the far-right does not care. Of what we need to be aware is this growing movement to imprison citizens who have no committed crimes. Whether the courts become corrupt and allow bad public defense and evidence taint trials-----or whether these goals become more and more politically oriented----we are watching the rise of authoritarian militaristic imprisonment. Black and brown citizens have been fighting the INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY as prison populations grew driven by more and more people not really guilty of crimes. Now, we are seeing political prisoners in the growing number of protesters-----the use of corruption to frame opponents---whether business or political----
The American people may have differing viewpoints on the importance of jailing people involved in political protest and that usually lies on whether they are the ones being jailed. It is a fact that someone like me----an academic educating AGAINST government actions will be the next round of political prisoners and know who shouts against the government the most?
THOSE CRAZY REPUBLICANS LOSING THEIR FREEDOMS.
I use that term as it is used to call social Democrats FAR-LEFT RADICALS. The truth is----both are simply old-school Democrats and Republicans with labels making us sound radical and dangerous.
This article talks about this history but I go further in saying ----OUR POOR ARE BEING DELIBERATELY FRAMED IN CRIMES---WHETHER DRUGS OR GUNS----AND THESE FOLKS ARE POLITICAL PRISONERS. We need to be aware of the tie between imprisoning people for no reason and the growing GLOBAL PRISON INDUSTRY ESPECIALLY TIED TO INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ZONES.
Political prisoners in US
A reporter with the newspaper Le Matin de Paris asked former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Andrew Young about the Soviet Union and its treatment of political dissidents. Young famously raised the issue of such prisoners here in the United States. He said, “We still have hundreds of people that I would categorize as political prisoners in our prisons,” this in reference to jailed civil rights and antiwar protesters.
Soffiyah Elijah talking:
Political prisoners are defined internationally as people who are incarcerated both for their political activities and their political views. Some here in the U.S. have expanded the definition a bit to include people who went to prison for social crimes and who became politicized inside, and then their treatment, such as their continued denial of release for parole, was tied to their acquired political beliefs.
Marilyn had been labeled by the FBI as the sole white member of the Black Liberation Army and was originally from Texas, became politicized in the Bay Area of California, and was ultimately sentenced to 40 years of incarceration. During the time that she was incarcerated, she helped many women with—in translation, because she was a very skilled Spanish translator, but ultimately she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She was a victim, as many people who are incarcerated, of medical neglect. And her possibility of being released before she died was decreasing, and so I pulled out all the stops and went really behind the scenes and ultimately was successful in getting her release just 21 days before she died.
Marilyn became politicized during the civil rights movement and the black liberation movement and other national liberation movements—the Puerto Rican independence movement, for instance. And she was part of a larger movement of North American anti-imperialists who challenged issues of racism and capitalism in the U.S., and they also challenged the U.S. foreign policy, like the war in Vietnam. All of those factors that were going on helped to shape who she was. And she was really committed to anti-racism, and she carried that strongly in all of her messages and in her activities.
She, as you know, became more and more involved in the black liberation movement. She was accused by the FBI as being a person who purchased guns, produced false identification, in an effort to protect people who were targeted by the FBI’s COINTELPRO program. As they engaged in what ultimately was determined to be illegal activity, the FBI targeted many members of the black liberation movement and other liberation movements for frame-ups, assassinations and long periods of incarceration.
Lynne Stewart, another person who is currently incarcerated in federal prison in a Fort Carswell Medical Center. It sounds like a hospital, but it’s a prison down in Fort Worth. And she also is suffering from cancer and has been given, by her oncologist in prison earlier this year, 18 months to live.
ironically, Marilyn and Lynne were in the same facility. And Lynne, who I actually clerked for in my early years as a lawyer, has, as you said, been diagnosed and is having a really difficult time getting the federal government, the Bureau of Prisons, to release her. There are a number of efforts. A number of people are calling for her release. And this actually is a larger problem in our prison system, with respect to compassionate release and medical release. Far too many people are medically—are suffering from medical neglect in facilities and our prison system, and our society is not compassionate when it comes to how these people should be handled, and not providing opportunities for them to be released.
Jihad Abdulmumit talking:
Jericho list has 66 prisoners, though these particular political prisoners have been members of different liberation movements in the past, legitimate struggles against the capitalist system at that particular time. But, no doubt, there’s hundreds now, particularly when you look at the “war on terrorism,” against the Muslim population and the singling out, fabricated cases, contrived cases and conspiracy cases that mean a hill of beans, really, this aggressive prosecution. So I would say there are hundreds of political prisoners. But on our particular list, those that have been actually attached to organizations and movements from the ’60s and ’70s, we have about 66.
Robert Hayes is a member of the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army. He was arrested in 1973 and convicted in 1974. So, I guess, doing the math, that puts him up to about 40 years, which all of our—most of our prisoners for those days going back to the ’70s, we’re talking about 40 years, which is much more time than Nelson Mandela had served in prison. And these are our Nelson Mandelas.
But he’s 65 years old, and he’s suffering from diabetes that he’s had now, I guess, for about 15 years or so, fluctuating sugar levels all the way from up to 400 to all the way down to 20, where he’s falling out—I think he fell out about two weeks ago—from this hypogyclemic type of reaction to low blood sugars. And it seems like the jail authorities just cannot get it right. So we recently had a national call-in campaign, which is one of the things that Jericho does for our prisoners when issues arise, to have—to kind of mobilize people across the nation to call in and put pressure on the prison authorities so that he can get medical care. So, hepatitis C is what he has, and diabetes, acute diabetes, right now that he’s suffering from.
he’s supposed to go into infirmary, I guess, in the first week in January. And once again, this is only the result of many, many people calling in and putting pressure on the administration. They just can’t seem to get it right. I guess their response to his diabetes is to give him no candy and cut down his sugar. So, there’s no really healthy diet that goes along with that. The modulation of his insulin injections has always been awry, and can’t seem to get it right. And except for the fact of his fellow comrade prisoners that look after him and can see that he’s going through different bouts and he’s getting kind of loopy and/or that he’s even fell out—fallen out, he probably would be dead by now.
67 political prisoners around the country that Jericho Movement monitors. Herman Wallace, a member of the Angola Three. He was released from prison in Louisiana after serving nearly 42 years in solitary confinement, longer than any other prisoner in the United States.
Herman Wallace was released from prison after a federal judge in Louisiana demanded he be released immediately, within hours. And he was. Two days later, he died of cancer.
Juan Méndez talking:
the medical literature is pretty strong on the effects of just social isolation on the way the mind operates. And, you know, that effect can be as early as 15 days of being subjected to 23 or 24 hours a day of just looking at a wall. So, unfortunately, international law has very little to say about solitary confinement, but that’s what we are trying to change. And I wrote a thematic report two years ago to the United Nations General Assembly, in which I tried to promote standards, first prohibiting indefinite solitary confinement—because it goes without saying that the anxiety of not knowing when will it end, you know, just adds to the psychological mistreatment—but also prohibiting prolonged solitary confinement, however defined.
I proposed that anything beyond 15 days of absolute solitary confinement should be considered prolonged and therefore banned—maybe a slightly longer term, but measured in days and not even weeks or months, for conditions that are a little more moderate, like, for example, a couple of hours of social interaction a day. And then, of course, for certain categories of prisons, there should be a complete ban for even a few hours of solitary confinement, and I mean juveniles, I mean the elderly, I mean pregnant women or women feeding young children, and particularly the mentally disabled. Solitary confinement for those categories is just punitive and unreasonable, and it should be banned.
As far as how it’s applied, it is applied, unfortunately, all over the world in different settings and different situations. And my sense is also that it is growing rather than diminishing. And unfortunately, the United States sets a very bad example, because literally tens of thousands of people in the United States are, on any given day, in solitary confinement, whether that’s called like that or given some other name, like “special administrative measures” or “isolation” or “segregation.” The fact is that the conditions are that at least 22 hours a day are spent without any meaningful social interaction.
Herman Wallace, who served 42 years in solitary confinement consecutively. those are the extreme cases that illustrate why solitary confinement is cruel, inhuman and degrading. I did—my report did find some legitimate uses of solitary confinement, but as long as it’s short-term and not repeated and, you know, used only for addressing a very specific situation.
nobody knows for sure, but the estimates that I have seen—and I have not seen them contradicted—are about 20,000-22,000 people in solitary confinement in prisons in California at any given day. And I’ve been trying to visit prisons in California, in New York state, in Pennsylvania, in federal prisons. And I’m waiting for the United States government to tell me when I can do it.
a daughter of Mr. Russell Maroon Shoatz contacted me two years ago and, you know, gave me the information about his treatment in solitary confinement for many years. Since the 1980s.
I wrote to the U.S. government. We exchanged notes on that. And I published a report stating that the United States was in violation of its international obligations by keeping Mr. Shoatz in solitary confinement, because the reason, as far as I could tell, was purely punitive in nature. It was about something that had happened 20-some years ago. Now, I don’t—I don’t consider questions of political prisoners, because that’s not my mandate. My mandate applies to solitary confinement as applied to common crime offenders, to political prisoners or to anybody.
Matt Meyer talking:
I think it’s important for people to realize that despite whatever issues, political or otherwise, related to Shoatz’s conviction, the reason he’s in solitary confinement is because he was elected by an official prison-approved body to be the head of this lifers’ group. And it was because he was seen, correctly, as a key organizer, even amongst his fellow inmates, that he was put into the hole. He was not put into solitary confinement initially, once convicted; it was only an immediate and very direct reaction to his organizing work.
He is currently at Frackville, and there is some breaking news about that story that I think is important for folks to know. Just this last weekend—and we’re still getting the information right now; his lawyers are actually meeting with him via conference call today—he learned from the program review committee that his attempts within the institution to get release from solitary into general population have been denied.
Now, this has happened before, where he has asked and requested. But, in fact, in the last two months, the prisons transferred him into a facility, the State Correctional Institution at Frackville, Pennsylvania, with the explicit and clearly stated purpose to move him into general population. They have a program for that, called the Step Down Program. It’s a 60-day program that he began in late September. And every 20 days in this Step Down Program, prisoners, Maroon included, get review from the prison authorities. After 20 days, a very positive review. After 40 days, again a positive review. And after 60 days, in a panel in front of this entire program review committee, even some of the most conservative guards and people within the facility at Frackville said, “You have done an amazing job. You have been fully compliant. You have acted in good faith. We give you a thumbs up.”
And so, now, just on the verge of this holiday season, where people are supposed to be compassionate and thinking about peace on earth and goodwill towards all people, he found out—again, just a day or so ago—that, in fact, the appeal, the paperwork necessary, to move him into general population was being denied.
He’s been consistently in solitary confinement since 1991. There was a—so, over 21 years. There was a break, actually, because he was in solitary for a few years before that. But it’s been consistent, 23-hours-a-day lockdown, seven days a week, since 1991.
Juan Méndez talking:
in this case, they responded to me that his subjection to solitary confinement was because of his past history of violence and having escaped a prison and committed acts of violence. But those are things that happened way before, sometime in the ’80s, I believe. So, for me, it was clear that, you know, whatever else he might have committed was included in his punishment and that solitary confinement then becomes strictly a punitive measure. It may well be that Matt is right, that the real reason may have been his organizing, but that’s not what the U.S. government told me. What they told me was that it was related to his crimes of violence. And I just don’t find that persuasive. I don’t find it justifiable. Once you’re convicted and sentenced to a prison term, that should be the end of it. There shouldn’t be any additional punitive measures, especially not punitive measures that are so cruel and inhuman and degrading as subjecting somebody to complete social isolation for so many hours a day—and many years, at that.
Matt Meyer talking:
the U.S. government says there are no political prisoners in the U.S. So you can’t always take what the U.S. government says on face value.
But Oscar López Rivera’s case is extremely unique, even in the context of political prisoners, because here’s a man who has been in jail, along with more than a dozen of his colleagues, since the early 1980s, and every single one of his colleagues are out, granted clemency by President Clinton. And his campaign has been signed on for release by the highest levels of international humanitarian and Puerto Rican leadership. The entire nation of Puerto Rico is united in calling for Oscar’s release.
The president of the Puerto Rican Senate has called for it, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, as well as others. Now, he was also included in the clemency that President Clinton gave, but he refused because two other Puerto Rican activists were not being freed at that time, who have since been freed. And he’s still in jail.
there are no reasons, except for punitive ones, for him to still be behind bars. And, of course, this issue for clemency has come up again and again and again.
And it’s not even just the Nobel laureates, that I’ve worked with directly—and, of course, we see them monitoring a number of political prisoners’ cases, Archbishop Tutu monitoring the case of Maroon—but in Oscar’s case, political activists in the parties that are closely associated with the Republican Party, with the Democratic Party, independentistas, across the political spectrum. When I was last in Puerto Rico, Catholic Archbishop González Nieves, the head of the Catholic Church, was strongly in favor of his release. And we just had a statement a week ago from the leadership of the United Church of Christ about their affirmation of the need for his release immediately.
— source democracynow.org
Soffiyah Elijah, is an attorney who has represented many political prisoners, and successfully won the release Marilyn Buck so she was able to die from uterine cancer outside of prison. Elijah also has a separate career as the executive director of the Correctional Association of New York, which monitors conditions in state prisons. She is former deputy director of the Criminal Justice Institute at Harvard Law School.
Jihad Abdulmumit, the national chairperson for the Jericho Movement. He joined the Black Panther Party as a teenager and served 23 years in prison for convictions related to two bank robberies while he was a member of the Black Liberation Army.
Juan Mendez, the United Nations special rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment. His reports have found that the use of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons can amount to cruel and unusual punishment, and even torture.
Matt Meyer, longtime leader of the War Resisters League, and previously served as coordinator of the international Nobel campaign for Puerto Rican political prisoners. He co-wrote the introduction to Oscar López Rivera: Between Torture and Resistance and is the editor of Let Freedom Ring: A Collection of Documents from the Movements to Free U.S. Political Prisoners. He can be reached for details about Russell Maroon Shoatz at Freemaroonshoatz@gmail.com.
I would say the US government USED TO BE CRITICAL of forced labor camps in China before CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA. If we know Mao was a 1% far-right Libertarian sent to China to industrialize then we see how his brutality and oppression is tied to the same group holding the US today. Mao was never left communist----and his actions mirror what far-right fascism has looked throughout history. It is extreme wealth and power wanting to enslave everyone else.
If we look at the Chinese policies towards imprisonment----or Stalin's USSR-----we will see to where these far-right 1% will take prisons in the US. Remember, US International Economic Zones operate as they do overseas---there are no laws like INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY.
'The American government has been critical of China’s forced-labor policies, but the United States has a burgeoning prison labor pool of its own'.
You can see the importance of keeping local economies stagnant-----as Baltimore is the worst offender with black market crime at the top of the income ladder and at the bottom. The crimes at the top of course are driving the crimes at the bottom only the poor of course gets the prison time. Baltimore City Hall and Baltimore's Maryland Assembly pols passed laws allowing this prison labor because of Baltimore's status as an US International Economic Zone.
Prison Labor Booms As Unemployment Remains High; Companies Reap Benefits
12/10/2012 02:19 pm ET
- Simon McCormack Communications Officer at the New York Civil Liberties Union
The American government has been critical of China’s forced-labor policies, but the United States has a burgeoning prison labor pool of its own.
Russia Today filed a report on Sunday that said hundreds of companies nationwide now benefit from the low, and sometimes no-wage labor of America’s prisoners.
Prison labor is being harvested on a massive scale, according to professors Steve Fraser and Joshua B. Freeman.
“All told, nearly a million prisoners are now making office furniture, working in call centers, fabricating body armor, taking hotel reservations, working in slaughterhouses, or manufacturing textiles, shoes, and clothing, while getting paid somewhere between 93 cents and $4.73 per day,” the professors write.
And some prisoners don’t make a dime for their work, according to the Nation, which notes that many inmates in Racine, Wis. are not paid for their work, but receive time off their sentences.
The companies that do pay workers can get up to 40 percent of the money back in taxpayer-funded reimbursements, according to RT.
That not only puts companies that use prison labor at a distinct advantage against their competitors, but, according to Scott Paul, Executive Director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, it means American workers lose out.
“It’s bad enough that our companies have to compete with exploited and forced labor in China,” Paul told the Nation. “They shouldn’t have to compete against prison labor here at home. The goal should be for other nations to aspire to the quality of life that Americans enjoy, not to discard our efforts through a downward competitive spiral.”
Companies like Chevron, Bank of America, AT&T, Starbucks and Walmart all take advantage of that so-called “competitive spiral.”
One of Walmart’s suppliers, Martori Farms, was the subject of an exposé by Truthout in which one female prisoner described her typical day working for the private company.
Currently, we are forced to work in the blazing sun for eight hours. We run out of water several times a day. We ran out of sunscreen several times a week. They don’t check medical backgrounds or ages before they pull women for these jobs. Many of us cannot do it! If we stop working and sit on the bus or even just take an unauthorized break, we get a major ticket which takes away our ‘good time’.
In response, Joseph Oddo, Martori Farms’ human resource director, told the Guardian that the company is no longer using inmates because prisons are not always able to provide workers on call the way they need. Oddo also said that workers were provided enough water, but the prisoners didn’t sip it slowly enough.
In a press release on Walmart’s site, Ron McCormick, vice-president for produce, said, “our relationship with Martori Farms is an excellent example of the kind of collaboration we strive for with our suppliers.”
No doubt the 1% Wall Street crowd feel they are not competitive enough in the prison labor market against China and will be moving to connect prison labor right to those global corporate campuses and global factories as WALL STREET BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT MASTER PLAN.
Wall Street will have its 'labor and justice' organizations called these forced labor farms something else----probably CONTINUOUS JOB TRAINING----RE-EDUCATION -----just as Mao did.
'the Laogai system consists of three distinct types of reform: convict labor (Laogai), re-education through labor (Laojiao), and forced job placement (Jiuye)'.
Chinese prison labor
August 22, 2008
As someone from from the slightly Left of center political spectrum... I find it interesting when I agree with the far Right. Here is one thing I completely agree with eventhough the ads on this site where for where for Ann Coulter. If the world is truly flat according Freedman, How does one market his global skill set against slave labor? You can't... It is a race to the bottom... http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?print=yes&id=16577
Red Chinese Slave Labor Floods NAFTA Marketplace With Cheap Goods by Jerome R. Corsi Posted Aug 21, 2006
The NAFTA marketplace unrestrained in the pursuit of cheap labor has driven an increasing volume of manufacturing off-shore to Communist China, where slave prison camps offer a cost of labor that is hard to beat. Chinese made goods ranging from electronics to toys and clothes are daily sold in mass marketing retailers such as Wal-Mart, Home Depot, K-Mart, Target, Lowes, and dozens of other U.S. corporations. Cheap goods from Communist China increasingly line the shelves of the NAFTA marketplace under marquee product trade names that bear no relationship to the Chinese slave labor that manufactured, produced, or otherwise assembled the goods.
Key to this thriving under-market is a flagrant disregard for human rights, on the part of the Communist Chinese, who still permit the exploitation of slave labor. U.S. capitalists and consumers as well turn a blind eye to the human suffering and abuse involved in producing the under-market cheap goods flooding the American retail market from China.
The Chinese slave labor camps set up first under Mao in the 1950s are known as Laogai. Writing for the Human Rights Brief at American University's Washington College of Law, Ramin Pejan explains that the Laogai system consists of three distinct types of reform: convict labor (Laogai), re-education through labor (Laojiao), and forced job placement (Jiuye). The political nature of these Chinese prison labor camps is clear. The PRC (People's Republic of China) uses Laojiao to detain individuals it feels are a threat to national security or it considers unproductive. Individuals in Laojiao may be detained for up to three years.
Because those in Laojiao have not committed crimes under PRC law, they are referred to as "personnel" rather than prisoners and they are not entitled to judicial procedure. Instead, individuals are sent to the Laojiao following administrative sentences dispensed by local public security forces. This vague detainment policy allows the PRC to avoid allegations that the individual's arrest was politically motivated and to assert that they were arrested for reasons such as "not engaging in honest pursuits" or "being able-bodied but refusing to work." Pejan notes that even though they have completed their sentence some 70 percent of the prisoners are forced to live in specifically assigned locations where they continue to work in the prison camp.
In a cruel slogan that brings to mind the "Arbeit Mach Frei" entrance to the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz, Penan notes that Laogai is an abbreviation for Laodong Gaizao which translates from Mandarin as "reform through labor." Despite U.S. government efforts to keep Chinese slave labor goods from entering the U.S. market, the Laogai Research Foundation maintains that China represses open investigation of forced labor camps and the practice continues: Due to strong resistance from Western nations against forced labor products, in 1991 China's State Council re-emphasized the ban on the export of "forced labor products" and stipulated that no prison is allowed to cooperate or establish joint ventures with foreign investors. However, the State Council's move was merely a superficial one, and prisoners today still produce forced labor products in great numbers.
The Chinese government grants special privileges to enterprises using labor camps and prisons, to encourage and attract foreign investment and export. Prisoners are forced to manufacture products without any payment, and are often forced to work more than 10 hours a day and sometimes even overnight. Those who cannot fulfill their tasks are beaten and tortured. The forced labor products these prisoners produce are exported throughout China and the world. The Laogai Research Center "believes that as long as the Chinese Communist Party's dictatorship exists, the Lagoai will continue to serve as its essential mechanism for suppression and prosecution." The Laogai Research Foundation documents more than 1,000 Chinese slave-labor prison camps still operating today, with a prison population estimated at several millions.
A U.S.-China Security Review Commission Policy Paper on Prison Labor and Forced Labor in China concluded that the U.S. Customs Service "cannot conduct independent investigations in China" to determine if goods imported into the U.S. were made in Chinese forced labor camps. Despite numerous treaties, memoranda of understanding, and laws, the Commission concluded that China simply refuses to supply the information needed to make factual determinations: … we understand that since 1996 the Customs Service has sent thirty letters to the Chinese Ministry of Justice regarding either visits or investigations of prison facilities in China that were suspected of producing goods for export to the United States. In most cases, the Chinese Ministry of Justice failed to respond to such letters.
The Customs Service has told the Commission that the difficulty in enforcing Section 307 to block the importation of goods made by prison labor in China does not arise from the U.S. statues. The difficulty arises because the PRC is not abiding by the 1992 and 1994 agreements it negotiated with the U.S. government. The Congressional-Executive Commission on China published in its 2005 annual report a conclusion that: "Forced labor is an integral part of the Chinese administrative detention system, and child labor remains a significant problem in China, despite being prohibited by law." Just above the slave labor camps is a vast Chinese under-market where millions of Chinese work for meager wages under constantly abusive work conditions. Today China makes approximately 75 percent of the world's toys.
As noted by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), U.S. companies such as Disney, Mattel (maker of the Barbie doll), Hasbro, McDonald's (Happy Meal toys), and Warner Brothers utilize factories in China to produce toys for virtually all major U.S. retailers, including Toys-R-Us, Wal-Mart, and Target, as well as for direct marketing. Still, the AHRC documents that working conditions in the Chinese toy manufacturing industry are abysmal, just one notch above 21st century slave trade standards. Consider this AHRC description of a Chinese toy worker's story: Average age of a worker in a typical Chinese toy factory: between 12- and 15-years-old. Typical wage of workers in Asian toy factories: from as little as 6 cents an hour up to 40 cents an hour (in U.S. dollar terms). Typical number of hours worked in a day during busy periods: up to 19. Typical number of days worked per week: 6. Young workers work all day in 104-degree temperature, handling toxic glues, paints, and solvents. Workers weakened by illness and pregnant workers, who are supposed to have legal protection, are forced to quit. The typical profile of workers in these factories involves single young women migrants from rural areas to the cities in search of jobs.
With more than 1 billion Chinese vying for an economic existence, the Chinese under-market thrives in a competitive environment of labor over-supply. One mistake, even in an abusive labor environment, can exclude a Chinese uneducated and unskilled worker from future employment, especially when thousands wait in line for the job. Increasingly well documented is the continuing Communist Chinese persecution of Falun Gong cult practitioners.
A July 2006 report released by Canadian human rights lawyer David Matas and former Canadian MP member David Kilgour has alleged continuing Communist Chinese organ harvesting achieved by murdering imprisoned Fulong Gong practitioners. The report's conclusions were clear: We believe that there has been and continues today to be large scale organ seizures from unwilling Falun Gong practitioners. We have concluded that the government of China and its agencies in numerous parts of the country, in particular hospitals but also detention centres and "people's courts," since 1999 have put to death a large but unknown number of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience. Their vital organs, including hearts, kidneys, livers and corneas, were virtually simultaneously seized involuntarily for sale at high prices, sometimes to foreigners, who normally face long waits for voluntary donations of such organs in their home countries.
We have previously argued that the projections of increased containers with cheap Chinese under-market goods headed for U.S. mass marketing retailers is the demand driving the construction of NAFTA super-highways and the opening up of Mexican ports as an alternative to west coast ports including Los Angeles and Long Beach. Reform the labor market in China or enforce traditional "anti-dumping" international trade restrictions against the entry of under-market goods and the need for NAFTA super-highways four football-fields wide open to Mexican ports operated by the Communist Chinese is largely gone.
As of yet, the black market in organ purchases has remained largely underground, hidden from public view. Today the American people remain largely unknowledgeable and/or uncaring over the massive human rights abuses in the Chinese labor under-market including slave forced prison labor, all for lower priced toys, sneakers, T-shirts, and electronics. Do we really think there will remain a bright moral line between using Chinese slave labor—a form of slow death for the under-market workers so abused—and outright murder of political prisoners that is required to promote an international market in human organs for the international elite with ample ready cash in hand? Unbridled capitalism can be counted on to press for erasing national boundaries that are perceived by free trade enthusiasts as speed bumps on their way to unlimited profits. How different today are the photographs Michael Wolf has taken of under-market labor in China from the photographs of Lewis W. Hine and Jacob Riis, who documented the human exploitation we tolerated in this country prior to the rise of the U.S. labor movement?
Obama came to office in 2009 and immediately pushed for the hardest immigrant imprisonment in modern history. This brought the black/brown ratio closer and if you see Latinos as political refugees from these same far-right neo-liberal policies in their own countries---one would call these jailed immigrants POLITICAL PRISONERS and look----they are prison labor.
When I hear citizens say that prisoners need to be put to labor I ask this----most crime is committed because people cannot get jobs----they don't need to learn to work---they need jobs BEFORE they go to jail. These injustices grow -----it sets the stage for US International Economic Zones with global campuses and global factories that pay EVERYONE THAT PRISON LABOR WAGE.
Using Jailed Migrants as a Pool of Cheap Labor
By IAN URBINAMAY 24, 2014
HOUSTON — The kitchen of the detention center here was bustling as a dozen immigrants boiled beans and grilled hot dogs, preparing lunch for about 900 other detainees. Elsewhere, guards stood sentry and managers took head counts, but the detainees were doing most of the work — mopping bathroom stalls, folding linens, stocking commissary shelves.
As the federal government cracks down on immigrants in the country illegally and forbids businesses to hire them, it is relying on tens of thousands of those immigrants each year to provide essential labor — usually for $1 a day or less — at the detention centers where they are held when caught by the authorities.
This work program is facing increasing resistance from detainees and criticism from immigrant advocates. In April, a lawsuit accused immigration authorities in Tacoma, Wash., of putting detainees in solitary confinement after they staged a work stoppage and hunger strike. In Houston, guards pressed other immigrants to cover shifts left vacant by detainees who refused to work in the kitchen, according to immigrants interviewed here.
The federal authorities say the program is voluntary, legal and a cost-saver for taxpayers. But immigrant advocates question whether it is truly voluntary or lawful, and argue that the government and the private prison companies that run many of the detention centers are bending the rules to convert a captive population into a self-contained labor force.
Last year, at least 60,000 immigrants worked in the federal government’s nationwide patchwork of detention centers — more than worked for any other single employer in the country, according to data from United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE. The cheap labor, 13 cents an hour, saves the government and the private companies $40 million or more a year by allowing them to avoid paying outside contractors the $7.25 federal minimum wage. Some immigrants held at county jails work for free, or are paid with sodas or candy bars, while also providing services like meal preparation for other government institutions.
Unlike inmates convicted of crimes, who often participate in prison work programs and forfeit their rights to many wage protections, these immigrants are civil detainees placed in holding centers, most of them awaiting hearings to determine their legal status. Roughly half of the people who appear before immigration courts are ultimately permitted to stay in the United States — often because they were here legally, because they made a compelling humanitarian argument to a judge or because federal authorities decided not to pursue the case.
“I went from making $15 an hour as a chef to $1 a day in the kitchen in lockup,” said Pedro Guzmán, 34, who had worked for restaurants in California, Minnesota and North Carolina before he was picked up and held for about 19 months, mostly at Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Ga. “And I was in the country legally.”
Mr. Guzmán said that he had been required to work even when he was running a fever, that guards had threatened him with solitary confinement if he was late for his 2 a.m. shift, and that his family had incurred more than $75,000 in debt from legal fees and lost income during his detention. A Guatemalan native, he was released in 2011 after the courts renewed his visa, which had mistakenly been revoked, in part because of a clerical error. He has since been granted permanent residency.
Claims of Exploitation
Officials at private prison companies declined to speak about their use of immigrant detainees, except to say that it was legal. Federal officials said the work helped with morale and discipline and cut expenses in a detention system that costs more than $2 billion a year.
“The program allows detainees to feel productive and contribute to the orderly operation of detention facilities,” said Gillian M. Christensen, a spokeswoman for the immigration agency. Detainees in the program are not officially employees, she said, and their payments are stipends, not wages. No one is forced to participate, she added, and there are usually more volunteers than jobs.
Marian Martins, 49, who was picked up by ICE officers in 2009 for overstaying her visa and sent to Etowah County Detention Center in Gadsden, Ala., said work had been her only ticket out of lockdown, where she was placed when she arrived without ever being told why.
Ms. Martins said she had worked most days cooking meals, scrubbing showers and buffing hallways. Her only compensation was extra free time outside or in a recreational room, where she could mingle with other detainees, watch television or read, she said.
“People fight for that work,” said Ms. Martins, who has no criminal history. “I was always nervous about being fired, because I needed the free time.”
Ms. Martins fled Liberia during the civil war there and entered the United States on a visitor visa in 1990. She stayed and raised three children, all of whom are American citizens, including two sons in the Air Force. Because of her deteriorating health, she was released from detention in August 2010 with an electronic ankle bracelet while awaiting a final determination of her legal status.
Natalie Barton, a spokeswoman for the Etowah detention center, declined to comment on Ms. Martins’s claims but said that all work done on site by detained immigrants was unpaid, and that the center complied with all local and federal rules.
The compensation rules at detention facilities are remnants of a bygone era. A 1950 law created the federal Voluntary Work Program and set the pay rate at a time when $1 went much further. (The equivalent would be about $9.80 today.) Congress last reviewed the rate in 1979 and opted not to raise it. It was later challenged in a lawsuit under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which sets workplace rules, but in 1990 an appellate court upheld the rate, saying that “alien detainees are not government ‘employees.’ ”
Immigrants in holding centers may be in the country illegally, but they may also be asylum seekers, permanent residents or American citizens whose documentation is questioned by the authorities. On any given day, about 5,500 detainees out of the 30,000-plus average daily population work for $1, in 55 of the roughly 250 detention facilities used by ICE. Local governments operate 21 of the programs, and private companies run the rest, agency officials said.
Detained Immigrants, Working for the U.S.
Every day, about 5,500 detained immigrants work in the nation’s immigration detention centers. Some are paid a dollar a day; others earn nothing. The locations shown are facilities that the federal government reimburses for this work.
Buffalo Federal Detention Facility
Northwest Detention Center
Number of workers on April 1, 2014
Houston Contract Detention Facility
Privately run center
Public facility (like county jails)
Source: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
The New York TimesThese detainees are typically compensated with credits toward food, toiletries and phone calls that they say are sold at inflated prices. (They can collect cash when they leave if they have not used all their credits.) “They’re making money on us while we work for them,” said Jose Moreno Olmedo, 25, a Mexican immigrant who participated in the hunger strike at the Tacoma holding center and was released on bond from the center in March. “Then they’re making even more money on us when we buy from them at the commissary.”
A Legal Gray Area
Some advocates for immigrants express doubts about the legality of the work program, saying the government and contractors are exploiting a legal gray area.
“This in essence makes the government, which forbids everyone else from hiring people without documents, the single largest employer of undocumented immigrants in the country,” said Carl Takei, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Prison Project.
Jacqueline Stevens, a professor of political science at Northwestern University, said she believed the program violated the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery and involuntary servitude except as punishment for crime. “By law, firms contracting with the federal government are supposed to match or increase local wages, not commit wage theft,” she said.
Immigration officials underestimate the number of immigrants involved and the hours they work, Professor Stevens added. Based on extrapolations from ICE contracts she has reviewed, she said, more than 135,000 immigrants a year may be involved, and private prison companies and the government may be avoiding paying more than $200 million in wages that outside employers would collect.
A 2012 report by the A.C.L.U. Foundation of Georgia described immigrants’ being threatened with solitary confinement if they refused certain work. Also, detainees said instructions about the program’s voluntary nature were sometimes given in English even though most of the immigrants do not speak the language.
Eduardo Zuñiga, 36, spent about six months in 2011 at the Stewart Detention Center in Georgia, awaiting deportation to Mexico. He had been detained after being stopped at a roadblock in the Atlanta area because he did not have a driver’s license and because his record showed a decade-old drug conviction for which he had received probation.
At Stewart, Mr. Zuñiga worked in the kitchen and tore ligaments in one of his knees after slipping on a newly mopped floor, leaving him unable to walk without crutches. Despite doctors’ orders to stay off the leg, Mr. Zuñiga said, the guards threatened him with solitary confinement if he did not cover his shifts. Now back in Mexico, he said in a phone interview that he must walk with a leg brace.
Gary Mead, who was a top ICE administrator until last year, said the agency scrutinized contract bids from private companies to ensure that they did not overestimate how much they could depend on detainees to run the centers.
Detainees cannot work more than 40 hours a week or eight hours a day, according to the agency. They are limited to work that directly contributes to the operation of their detention facility, said Ms. Christensen, the agency spokeswoman, and are not supposed to provide services or make goods for the outside market.
But that rule does not appear to be strictly enforced.
At the Joe Corley Detention Facility north of Houston, about 140 immigrant detainees prepare about 7,000 meals a day, half of which are shipped to the nearby Montgomery County jail. Pablo E. Paez, a spokesman for the GEO Group, which runs the center, said his company had taken it over from the county in 2013 and was working to end the outside meal program.
Near San Francisco, at the Contra Costa West County Detention Facility, immigrants work alongside criminal inmates to cook about 900 meals a day that are packaged and trucked to a county homeless shelter and nearby jails.
A Booming Business
While President Obama has called for an overhaul of immigration law, his administration has deported people — roughly two million in the last five years — at a faster pace than any of his predecessors. The administration says the sharp rise in the number of detainees has been partly driven by a requirement from Congress that ICE fill a daily quota of more than 30,000 beds in detention facilities. The typical stay is about a month, though some detainees are held much longer, sometimes for years.
Detention centers are low-margin businesses, where every cent counts, said Clayton J. Mosher, a professor of sociology at Washington State University, Vancouver, who specializes in the economics of prisons. Two private prison companies, the Corrections Corporation of America and the GEO Group, control most of the immigrant detention market. Many such companies struggled in the late 1990s amid a glut of private prison construction, with more facilities built than could be filled, but a spike in immigrant detention after Sept. 11 helped revitalize the industry.
The Corrections Corporation of America’s revenue, for example, rose more than 60 percent over the last decade, and its stock price climbed to more than $30 from less than $3. Last year, the company made $301 million in net income and the GEO Group made $115 million, according to earnings reports.
Prison companies are not the only beneficiaries of immigrant labor. About 5 percent of immigrants who work are unpaid, ICE data show. Sheriff Richard K. Jones of Butler County, Ohio, said his county saved at least $200,000 to $300,000 a year by relying on about 40 detainees each month for janitorial work. “All I know is it’s a lot of money saved,” he said.
Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, an advocacy group that promotes greater controls on immigration, said that with proper monitoring, the program had its advantages, and that the criticisms of it were part of a larger effort to delegitimize immigration detention.
Some immigrants said they appreciated the chance to work. Minsu Jeon, 23, a South Korean native who was freed in January after a monthlong stay at an immigration detention center in Ocilla, Ga., said that while he thought the pay was unfair, working as a cook helped pass the time.
“They don’t feed you that much,” he added, “but you could eat food if you worked in the kitchen.”