Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Florida Prisons

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www.prisoncensorship.info is a media institution run by the Maoist Internationalist Ministry of Prisons. Here we collect and publicize reports of conditions behind the bars in U.$. prisons. Information about these incidents rarely makes it out of the prison, and when it does it is extremely rare that the reports are taken seriously and published. This historical record is important for documenting patterns of abuse, and also for informing people on the streets about what goes on behind the bars.

We hope this information will inspire people to take action and join the fight against the criminal injustice system. While we may not be able to immediately impact this particular instance of abuse, we can work to fundamentally change the system that permits and perpetuates it. The criminal injustice system is intimately tied up with imperialism, and serves as a tool of social control on the homeland, particularly targeting oppressed nations.

[Medical Care] [Florida]
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Denied adequate treatment

I myself have had health complications for the past two years in which I've caught a stomach infection twice. I was diagnosed with H-Pylori (Helico bacteria infection) which basically comes from dirty food on utensils. It is known that this stomach infection can cause cancer if not appropriately treated. To go on further, I've been experiencing burning sensations in my private areas, for which the Florida State Prison and the Union Correctional Institution have continuously run the same tests, never attempting to try another course of treatment, which only causes more suffering.

I've been repeatedly charged a sum of $4 per entry of sick call only to be denied adequate medical treatment. Medical staff, as well as security staff, continue to act as if my complaint of medical illnesses are a mental issue, and not physical until just recently after two full years. I was seen by a urologist due to family support and the consistent inciting of grievances and was told I had kidney stones. So, whoever you are, and wherever you are just know that we all can contribute to struggles for basic rights and with determination we all can achieve our goals, and conquer.

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[Medical Care] [Florida]
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Paying for no care in prisons

I think everybody should get health care. I'm talking about immigrants and U.$. citizens with low incomes, because most of the people that work picking oranges, strawberries or any other job are immigrants not from America but from other countries. Without immigrants Amerikans cannot do their own work.

And as for us prisoners, I'm in a county jail in Florida and we are being overcharged when we need medical assistance or medical care. Just for putting in a sick call we have to pay $12 and if we get to see a doctor it's another $12. But before we see a doctor we have to file 3 times for sick call, which is bullshit because we have to pay $36 before we even see a doctor and then another $12 when we get to see them. The same goes if we need Motrin or Tylenol, just for 3 days of those pills we pay $12 for the sick call and $5 for the pills. That's $17 for 3 days of Motrin or Tylenol.

MIM(Prisons) adds: This comrade's view of "everybody" is narrowed by u.$.-imposed borders. This is an incorrect perspective to take on health care within an imperialist economy where one nation's prosperity is built on others' demise. Not only is premature death in the Third World a direct result of exploitation by the imperialist nations, but it also plays a role in social control of the oppressed.

To demand health care for prisoners and others in north amerika not considered to be full citizens is a righteous challenge to the dominant debates. But don't stop there. Particularly in countries where the united $tates can afford to send billions of dollars in military equipment, such demands should be obligatory. Clean water, food and medical care for all are cheap and easy in comparison to military occupations.

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[Abuse] [Marion County Jail] [Florida]
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Punishment of Pretrial Detainees in Ocala, Florida

I am writing to let you know that Marion County Jail is a modern concentration camp. All prisoners in Marion County Jail are charged two dollars per day for very small portions of food that contain rocks, sticks, and sand, because all the food is grown on a farm that's run by prisoners. We have no canteen to order except coffee, sugar-free Kool-aid and breath mints. We have no TV to watch even though we pay two dollars per day to stay in the jail.

The conditions of confinement in this facility are clearly designed to force innocent people to plead out to get out. Most people contained in this facility cannot make bond because the judge set it extremely high or they have no bond. The pigs of this town fabricate probable cause affidavits, so a lot of people in here are innocent. The U$ department of Injustice has an investigation going about the excessive force and prisoner suicide rate within this facility. We need a lawyer to file a class action lawsuit on behalf of all Marion County Jail prisoners, because it is futile to file grievances. The things that are going on are clearly unconstitutional.

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[Spanish] [Florida] [ULK Issue 11]
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Carta del pueblo inmigrante a los Estados Unidos

Qué fácil es sembrar la semilla de la decepción en las mentes y los corazones de un pueblo ignorante, descendientes de inmigrantes, quienes se sienten diferentes porque hablan inglés, o no se dan cuenta de la corrupta filosofía que les roba día a día la verdadera unidad, y niega la verdad que América ha sido forjada con el sudor de nuestras gentes, quienes siempre se han hecho presentes en los campos de batalla, junto al pelotón, sin importarles la aflicción de una guerra que no es nuestra, y finalmente les pagas con traición.

América ¿Por qué hoy nos tratas como enemigos? ¿Después que hemos compartido como vecinos, y sin importar nuestra educación todos estos años nos esperaste con los brazos abiertos, con bombos y platillos? ¿Porque hoy, en nuestras fronteras parecemos enemigos? Soldados persiguiendo a mis hijos y tu pueblo gritando nuestra separación. Porque para ti, es más fácil observar los errores de nuestros hijos, que las destrucciones que estas causando al otro lado del mundo, en aras de otorgar la libertad al pueblo libre. ¿Cuántos huérfanos y viudas han dejado tu avaricia?

Dime o USA ¿Por qué nos culpas a nosotros los inmigrantes de tu desdicha, desdicha que has traído tú misma a tu casa al invadir Afganistán? Te ha sido muy fácil confundir tu pueblo llenando su mente de odio y rencor contra sus vecinos, mientras tú continúas derrochando y malgastando un dinero que no es tuyo.

Que fácil te ha sido llenar las mentes de corrupción a un pueblo desesperado por respuestas, solo has tenido que apuntar el dedo y ellos, como perros de cacería nos persiguen noche y día. Pero te has olvidado de algo ¡La revolución no ha muerto! Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata, Albizu Campos, Ramón Matías Mella, y el Che, todavía viven en los corazones revolucionarios de cada inmigrante, mintiéndonos conscientes que tus acciones en contra de nosotros, una vez amigos tuyos, es una muestra de tu propia autodestrucción.

MIM, quiero darle las gracias por darme la oportunidad de poder expresar mis sentimientos en cuanto a la situación por la que nosotros los inmigrantes estamos pasando. No es fácil estando detrás de las murallas del opresor, poder aportar su opinión en contra de la persecución que se ha gestado contra nosotros los inmigrantes. América sin nosotros sería como una hermosa mujer que carece de un ojo.

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[Organizing] [National Oppression] [Florida] [ULK Issue 11]
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Unity Only Possible Among Friends

Your opening statements in the issue I received are true with regards to the need for unity among the masses in the concentration camps nationwide. I've been in the system 13 years now and I've felt helpless and hopeless for a lot of years because it seems impossible to accomplish.

This is a very complex issue to approach because the division that separates us is multi-faceted. Never mind the different gangs that believe in their individual causes to be against another gang, but you have Blacks can't unite, whites can't unite, Latinos can't unite. And then you have the younger generation of prisoners that are divided from the older generation. Then you have the short-times with little time left to serve on their sentence who are unwilling to stand for a cause that a lifer will stand for because of fear of getting more time.

You have the haves and the have-nots in prison who separate and create yet another division because those with no money or regular source of income will not stand with those with money when it comes time to start a protest by refusing to go to food service for the lack of sufficient amounts, to the spoiled and rotten food regularly served.

The divisions between prisoners is equivalent to blind people trying to put together a 2 million piece jigsaw puzzle. Right next to quite impossible. Having said this, I still believe some effort at the attempt, no matter how futile, is much much better than quiet and docile acquiescence.

Under Lock & Key is an intelligent yet small step in the right direction. I say "small" step because it may be that several generations will come and go before universal consensus is reached that we need to stop fighting each other and start helping each other. Nevertheless, I accept my responsibility in this cause and become educated in the ways of the brothers and sisters that came before me like Huey P. Newton, Assata Shakur, Malcolm X and others.

I believe when no one will listen to words the only way to lead is by example of personal actions. If various states ban, censor, or put restrictions on ULK those of us have a vested responsibility to live the ideology as best we can under the circumstances.

While living the cause each day we should try to come up with solutions to the various levels of our division. For example, Amerikan tax-payers work each week and taxes are deducted from their paychecks to fund the prison system in each individual state, yet very few tax payers question the use of those collective funds. Paying taxes is an established institution in the U.S. so hardly any question the use when the challenges of making ends meet are more pressing. But if public safety is the justification for taking more and more taxes each year then why is crime not being eliminated? Simple, because crime creates jobs, jobs generate revenue and revenue funds the elitists who own the corporations that ULK works hard to educate us about.

So one way we all can help is by not only focusing on our divisions, but instead trying to educate the masses with information about the abuses of tax-payers' funds on some of the things inside the system. For example, here in Florida the taxes run the prison system yet still each day thousands of prisoner receive money orders from family and friends to help us keep our hygiene and other necessities, only for the Florida Dept of Corrections central office to tax each money order, twice. They take 50 cents from each prisoner deposit, and they take 10 percent of the total amount each prisoner spends for the week. So for example, if a prisoner spends the entire $75 weekly limit, they take $7.50. This is already on top of the money our loved ones pay in taxes each week, month and year.

It takes money to right money so the dissemination of information on the abuses we endure with the criminal injustice system must be only the foundation to which this movement is built upon. We must create think-tanks out of the cells they use to confine us. We must be educated on the knowledge of social engineering.

The anti-imperialist movement hinges on a backbone of resistance to the direction in which the elitist is taking the world. We are the corrosive element in their motor. We must come together ideologically, socially, personally and even financially to gain strength in this movement.

MIM(Prisons) responds: We support this prisoner's call for unity and the hard work of educating and organizing people to fight the criminal injustice system. However, we do not think the strategy of organizing taxpayers for their own financial interest is correct at this time in Amerika. The vast majority of Amerikan workers have a financial interest in imperialism. And the Criminal Injustice System is a prop used to keep imperialism running strong. Amerikans recognize this and strongly back the police and locking up more people. Frankly, if you brought these issues to their attention they'd probably cut the funding for food and toiletries more. Families with loved ones in prison would be the exception.

As we think about our organizing strategies, we must first have a clear idea of who are our friends and who are our enemies. This does not mean we cannot influence or even ally with enemy classes at times, but we must not treat them as friends and allies in our struggle. MIM(Prisons) focuses on organizing prisoners, and we know that without organized prisoners there is no real prison movement. Prisoners should be looking to each other (as this comrade suggests with think tanks), as well as their families and communities that are affected negatively by the injustice system for solutions.

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[Spanish] [Florida] [ULK Issue 11]
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Lucha Vietnamita Contra INS, Prisiones, y Persecución por ser "Ilegal"

Yo soy un inmigrante Vietnamita. Yo he estado en Amerikkka desde el 1985. Yo vine para este país cuando era un niño. Mi padre murió, asi que yo crecí en una casa adoptiva. Mi vida no es color de rosa, yo tuve mis altas y bajas. Esta es la segunda vez que he estado encarcelado. Mi vida esta cambiando mientras cresco.

Al terminar mi primera sentencia, yo fui recogido por INS (inmigración). Me dieron un día de corte, y un juez federal ordenó que me deportaran mientras esperaba por una visa para viajar, yo fuí enviado a diferentes carceles. Yo conocí personas que llevaban 5 o 10 años esperando, solo para ser deportados. Alguna gente no puede regresar a su país natal debido a persecución, y tampoco pueden ser puestos en libertad porque cometieron crimen en Amerika. Todos nosotros debemos pagarle nuestra deuda a la sociedad.

Pocos años despues, yo fui puesto en libertad con varias condiciones: yo tengo que reportarme mensualmente para pagar por una visa anual; pagar impuestos; y regresar a mi pais natal una vez tengan una visa preparada para mi. Yo tengo hijos que nacieron aquí.

Yo trabaje y mantuve un trabajo. Algunos de los trabajos que yo hice eran rigurosos. Solo los llamados ilegales y no-ciudadanos trabajan dichos trabajos. Trabajos que los Americanos no hacen, y todavia se ponen a llorar de que nosotros los ilegales y no-ciudadanos estamos ocupando posiciónes de trabajo.

Todos los meses yo vi el INS venir y barrer el area, chequeando gente para ver si tenían visas de trabajo. Esos que no tenían visas, eran recogidos y arrestados. Algunos eran tirados en prisiones federales por re-entrar. Familias están siendo rasgadas por estas razones. Algunos regresan porque tiene familiares aquí. Ellos regresan porque quieren ver sus hijos, hijas, madres, padres. Algunos familiares son muy viejos para viajar, o muy jovenes para entender.

Reciéntemente Oklahoma ha pasado una ley nueva llamada House Bill 106U. La ley especificamente atacó "ilegales" o no-ciudadanos en Amerika. Nosotros somos detenidos por ninguna razón, para que ellos puedan cuequear tarjetas de identificación. Si alguna companía contrata o le da cobijo a "ilegales," habrán multas y encarcelamiento. Algunos negocios pequeños cierran sus puertas porque "ilegales" temen trabajar.

Nosotros estamos siendo castigados por romper la ley, y castigados de nuevo por la corte federal. Nosotros somos culpables de no ser ciudadanos Amerikanos. ¿Algunos de nosotros no tenemos una voz. Algunas veces yo me pregunto, tendrá amabilidad algún valor en Amerika?

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[Abuse] [Federal Correctional Complex Coleman USP II] [Florida] [ULK Issue 9]
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Pig Enables Stabbing of Prisoner in Riot

I'm a prisoner currently in the SHU in an Atlanta, GA transfer unit writing to you in regards to a legal matter I need assistance with. On January 25, 2009 at 2:10 P.M. on the USP Coleman 2 (Florida) recreation yard a major riot involving over 100 Hispanic inmates jumped off on the soccer field here while I and hundreds of other prisoners were watching a football game. The emergency announcement system was activated at which time I complied right away by getting down on the field.

I feel I was a victim of racial profiling for the simple fact that while complying, an unknown officer overlooked all other non-Hispanic inmates around me and restrained me. While I was face down on the ground and being restrained by this officer, I was then attacked by unknown assailants. While this officer held me down on the ground I was kicked, beat and stabbed. While I was repeatedly beaten and kicked, this unknown officer showed a great deal of negligence and blatant disregard for my life and safety when instead of protecting me or even helping me to a safe place, he just abandoned me, leaving me at the hands of my assailants. With this officer nowhere in sight, I made my way off the soccer field and to the safety of another officer who detained and cuffed me.

I was finally seen by Coleman medical staff who noticed the severity of the stab wound to my stomach and at which time I was air lifted to an Orlando, Florida based hospital where I underwent emergency surgery.

Coleman officers and staff failed to react properly and whether it was a lack of training or whatever, were obviously not prepared for such a major riot, and in being so unprofessional ultimately resulted in my near-death assault. I've unsuccessfully been trying to make contacts with legal firms or people who could help me with a lawsuit against the FBOP. A chaplain over here in Atlanta gave me one of your newsletters (Under Lock & Key) and told me your publication could help me find legal assistance with me filing a lawsuit. So with that said, I'd appreciate your help and response.

MIM(Prisons) responds: Unfortunately we do not have the resources to help the many comrades like this one who write to us for assistance with their legal battles. We are not even able to put sufficient resources into our own legal battles like the fight against censorship of Under Lock and Key. We print this letter to expose what is going on behind bars and encourage those with legal knowledge to step forward to help others.

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[Spanish] [National Oppression] [Florida] [ULK Issue 10]
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No soy criminal, soy revolucionario

Compañeros Revolucionarios,

Recientemente acabo de recibir una edición de MIM(Prisons) la cual me hizo sentir lleno de energía positiva y fuerza para continuar la lucha en contra del opresor. El sistema encarselario de los U$ es evidente ha sido formado con el proposito de mantener las personas de los barrios pobres y los inmigrantes que no comprenden las leyes, o mientras fueron a la escuela nunca le hablaron del peligro que los asecha en las calles de sus barrios, la policía, que facir es venir a la prición en este pais.

Yo me encuentro en los U$ desde abril del 1993, diez años de mi estadía en este pais ha sido en las granjas (prisión) por un robo a mano armada. Aunque esta es mi primera ofensa, donde no hubo sangre, ni victimas, fue sentenciado a 15 años en las granjas (prisión), pero no como un obrero sino como un animal.

Aunque para el sistema soy considerado un criminal, yo me considero un individuo que cometió un error en una etapa de mi vida cuando no estaba pensando apropiadamente. Apesar de que este sistema es un negocio que genera millones de dolares para ser gastado en cosas como "la guerra contra el terrorismo" y un grupo de cosas que solo ayudan a los que ya están en poder y no necesitan ningún tipo de ayudar. Es doloroso lo que ultimamente estoy viendo pasar en este sistema, un gran cantidad de los presos nuevos son niños, si niños con una sentencia de vida, muertos, basura en los ojos de este sistema diabolico. Es doloroso cada vez que hablo con alguno de estos muchachos, veo mi imagen en sus ojos, un niño que no va a tener una oportunidad de ser libre, tener una familia, hijos, etc. Y su algún día tiene la oportunidad de salir de este lugar, su mente estará tan doblada y confundida que se convierte en un producto del sistema, un verdadero criminal.

Es facil jusgar, apuntar el dedo y hablar acerca de las cosas que uno no comprende. Yo fue una de esas personas. Este gobierno colonialista, capitalista, nos mantiene ignorante, crellendo que ellos están trabajando para un mejor mañana. La guerra hasta que se da cuenta el verdadero propocito, colonialismo, es el verdadero proposito. Esta gobierno sabe que no importa cuantos niños y mujeres mueran, el mundo cuntinua su curso, mientras el pueblo esta comodo no habra revolución.

Yo soy parte de una organización la cual es catalogada como un grupo terrorista, somos catalogados como STG porque no estamos de acuerdo con las idiologias de este gobierno, porque nos catalogamos como un movimiento revolucionario, porque amamos nuestra jente del tercer mundo, nuestra gente oprimida. No importa el nombre que se nos de, nosotros no morirémos, nosotros nos continuarémos multiplicando, en las acciones de nuestros guerreros es que se puede ver el hombre del mañana.

Yo voy a ser deportado para mi amado pais al final de mi sentencia y promento continual regando la semilla del cambio despertar a todo aquel que se encuentra dormido en el cementerio de la ignorancia. El camino es duro pero mi hambre por revolucíon es más grande.

Viva la revolución! Viva el hombre de nación!

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[Spanish] [Florida] [ULK Issue 9]
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Organizaciones callejeras y organizamiento revolucionario

Como joven revolucionario, yo me encuentro acercandome a 10 años de ser miembro de los Almighty Latin Kings (Reyes Latinos todo Poderosos). Ha tenido sus altas y bajas, pero me ha convertido en el hermano que se encuentra aquí sentado escribiendo estas palabras. Algunas veces yo me molesta cuando leo MIM’s y alguien escribe hablando de que era ex-miembro de una Pandilla. Por que una persona tiene que dejar todo en lo que él cree por equis cantidad de años para cambiar su vida? Si yo tuviese que dejar mi nación para hacer un cambio para mejorar, estos ultimos 10 años de mi vida serían nada más que una mentira. Yo no miro a ALKQN como una Pandilla, porque nunca en mis 10 años yo he participado en pandillerismo, ni me he puesto colores. Pero eso no significa que como hombre yo no he cometido errores. Yo he estado viviendo en los campos de concentración de Amerika por una mejor parte de mi vida. Aquí yo he aprendido a leer y a escribir, y como ser un hombre. Sino fuese por la ALKQN, yo todavía fuese un alma perdida, sordo, estupido, y ciego justo como los imperialistas nos quieren.

Cuando yo leo MIMs y eschuo de hermanos en Nueva Jersey que estan enseñando a otros Reyes y a miembros de UBN (United Bloods Nation) a leer y a escribir, y no solo pasando revistas XXL y VIBE, de eso es lo que Reyismo se trata. No pandillerismo. Siendo yo de Brick City, yo se directamente es el NJDOC, asi que mi amor va para todos esos camaradas que se encuentran en el GU, sin importar cuales sean sus afiliaciones. Tu no tienes que dejar de ser tu para mantenerte fuera de la prisión. No los dejes que te engañen, joven hermano.

Como una vez dijó uno de los hermanos más revolucionarios de nuestra bella isla (Albizu Campos) “Despierta Boricua; defiende lo tuyo!”

MIM(Prisiones) responde: Nosotros aprendemos cosas atravez de nuestras vidas que nos lleva a hacer cambios en lo que pensamos y hacemos. Aprendiendo sobre politicas revolucionarias y moviendose fuera de una organización callejera para estar envuelto en organizamiento no hace la historia de uno una mentira. Algunos camaradas trabajando con MIM(Prisoniones) se quedan con sus organizaciones callejeras y otros eligen dejarlas cuando entran en politicas revolucionarias. Muchas veces estas deciciones tienen base en lo que sus organizaciones callejeras estan metidas, y en lo que individualmente una camarada piensa que puede hacer como miembro. Si una persona es miembro de una organización callejera que no soporta el trabajo anti-imperialista, puede ser tiempo de moverse de esa organización callejera. Sin embargo, nosotros respetamos a esos camaradas que quieren quedarse con sus organizaciones callejeras y promover anti-imperialismo dentro del grupo. Hay papeles importantes para ambos acercamientos.

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[Prison Labor] [Federal Correctional Complex Coleman USP II] [Florida] [ULK Issue 8]
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Federal Prisons and Prison Labor

I am a federal prisoner confined to the Coleman II United States Penitentiary. In most federal penitentiaries there are approximately 1500 prisoners in the general population. Approximately 90% of general population prisoners hold prison employment working jobs that range from being cooks in the kitchen, providing janitorial work throughout the prison, working in the maintenance department as electricians or plumbers, or in the most coveted of prison jobs: the UNICOR factory.

Prisoners are compelled to work in two ways. First, the administration utilizes the Financial Responsibility Program to coerce prisoners to work. All convicted Federal prisoners are assessed $100 per count for the crimes for which they are convicted. Many others are given fines, restitution and other "criminal monetary penalties" at sentencing. When a prisoner arrives to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, s/he is required to pay these "financial obligations" during incarceration through the Financial Responsibility Program or face loss of privileges such as commissary, telephone, visitation access, etc. A prisoner must obtain prison employment to meet these so-called obligations in order to keep his/her ability to maintain community contacts through visits and phone calls and to supplement the horrid diet through the commissary.

The second means of lawful but unjust enslavement of the prison population is through disciplinary action. A prisoner who refuses to work is, under prison rules and regulations, "refusing to program." Violating this rule also results in loss of privileges but has additional adverse consequences such as loss of "Good Conduct Time," time in disciplinary segregation, impoundment of personal property, and other sanctions.

It is without doubt that if the federal government had to pay wages to unincarcerated laborers, the cost of cleaning, maintaining and repairing prisons would be extraordinary. It is much easier to run the gulags of America when you prey upon the incarcerated poor and offer them $12 a month to work 8 hour, 5 day workweeks.

This does not account for the UNICOR laborers. UNICOR, also known as Federal Prison Industries, manufactures uniforms, kevlar helmets, furniture, armored cars, and other materials for the U.S. military. Prisoners are paid a maximum of $125 a month but can make hundreds in overtime. To the average prisoner such wages are too tempting to pass up. They don't realize they are fuel for the capitalist military industrial complex which saves hundreds of millions of dollars making military material and products in prisons.

Prisons may not reap profits but they do save costs with prison labor which, considering the amount saved, is tantamount to profits. It is certainly a basic tenet of the criminal injustice system and helps the government run its oppression camps by not having to tax the average citizen to run these torture chambers. Nothing grabs the attention of Americans more than taxes, more prison labor means more prisons without more taxes.

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