Ep 5: Mass Incarceration and the Prison Industrial Complex

Discussion of the episode here: Problemattic

I did one month’s worth of research to prepare for this interview. I read the Shane Bauer book (which I highly recommend), listened to various podcasts and scoured as many articles as I could find online. My takeaways from all that research and from this conversation with Robby are these:

  • The current incentive model of “compensated man days” is an incredibly destructive practice that incentivizes awful behavior. It’s no wonder we have wound up in the situation we now have.
  • The prison industrial complex is the ecosystem that profits from keeping people in jail and it’s morally bankrupt.
  • This will be a difficult thing to dismantle but it’s worth the fight. Left unchecked this will continue to ruin communities, bankrupt families and keep impoverished people in place.
  • There are some clear things our volunteers can build that should help in the overall movement for dismantling this complex. I’ve listed those proposed solutions on the episode page. If you have anything to add, please chime in on the specific solution and give your $.02.

Thanks to Robby Craig, John Dacey and my friend Megan Shannon for connecting us. For any of our volunteers who want to dive deeper on this issue and hear more from these guys, be sure to subscribe to their Prison $ells podcast linked in the show notes of the episode.