© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2007 DOI: 10.1163/187219107X203603 Societies Without Borders 2 (2007) 273 –288 www.brill.nl/swb S W B If We Build It Th ey Will Come: Human Rights Violations and the Prison Industrial Complex 1 Earl Smith and Angela Hattery Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA Received 15 October 2006; accepted 3 December 2006 Abstract Th is paper utilizes the concept of the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) in order to examine the complex conﬁ guration comprised of the US prison system, multi-national corpora- tions, small private businesses and the inmate population in the social and political econ- omy of the 21st century US. Utilizing data on the PIC we pose the question: What is the purpose of prison, the rehabilitation of the inmates or the exploitation of prison labor? Speciﬁ cally we argue, using Wright’s neo-Marxist theory, that the current system of incar- ceration in the US mimics the exploitation characteristic of the slave plantation economy of the southern US, ripe with human rights violations, the products and proﬁ ts of which are exported daily through the expansion of global markets. Si la ediﬁ camos ocurrirán: las violaciones de derechos humanos y el negocio de las
Societies Without Borders – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2007
Keywords: GLOBALIZATION OF PRISONS; PRISON INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX; PRISON INDUSTRIES
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