Prison industrial complex

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The prison industrial complex describes the ways the government and the private sector benefit by using surveillance, policing, and imprisonment as “solutions” to economic, social and political problems; the intertwining of structures that enable profit to be generated from incarceration and, by proxy, continued oppression. - Critical Resistance & the work of Angela Davis, adapted by Michelle Xie [1]

Examples of the Prison Industrial Complex

Incarceration rates

  • In 2016, Canada’s crime rates hit a 45-year low. Yet, incarceration rates hit an all time high. [2]

Incarceration of the legally innocent

  • The majority of people incarcerated in Canada, 60%, are denied bail and incarcerated in advance of their trial. This means they are legally innocent. [3]
Over-incarceration of marginalized groups
  • Indigenous Peoples are incarcerated 10x more often than non-Indigenous citizens; an example of systemic racism [4]
Highly exploited labour
  • Federally sentenced inmates are paid a maximum of $6.90 per day for their labour. The average is $3.00 per day for their labour. Most is deducted for their basic living essentials such as cleaning products, food and accomodation, access to phones and also to the crown. [5]

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