By John Carico
Sep 1, 2015
Why are we against prison?
Because what goes on behind those walls does anything but rehabilitate people.
In solidarity with victims of police brutality, we fight a judicial system that oppresses us all, but especially targets people of color, women, LGBTQ people. gender non-conforming people, and members of other marginalized groups, at every point of contact, from being pulled over for a broken taillight to being beaten up and thrown in solitary for daring to speak out.
The fact that our children are being oppressed and exploited in this same way, and subjected to the same brutal and inhumane conditions as offenders in adult prisons, is unacceptable.
We seek to create alternatives to that system, with solutions like community policing, critical intervention training, mental health training. deescalation tactics, and rehabilitation, and reconciliation that opens doors for offenders, rather than setting them up for an endless cycle of recidivism.
Kids shouldn’t live their lives in cages. Judges, police forces, private probation companies, and private corporations like Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and GEO Group, should not be profiting from their suffering. Slavery in the United State is still alive, and a look behind the walls of any correction facility–even those that house juveniles–echoes a dark era in our nation’s history.
As Kids Out Of Cages, our demand is this: Children be released from for-profit correctional facilities immediately. We will convey these demands to CCA, GEO Group, and their partners in crime as a first step. The responsibility for addressing these demands and concerns are on them.
If our demands are not met by May 1st, 2016, we will launch waves of demonstrations and occupations, starting at a juvenile detention facility near CCAS headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee. These efforts will be coordinated with other groups, across the Southeast, capable of carrying out similar actions to disrupt the private prison system that profits from locking our children in cages and stealing their youth–something they can never get back.
We consider these children–our children–hostages of a system whose only goal is to fill the pockets of politicians and businessmen whose only concern is increased profit margins.
Our children deserve better and we know that we, as a community, can do better.
These children are our future, but we allow them to be subject to a system that robs them of theirs.
This is a call for action and support. There are over 70,000 children trapped behind the walls of juvenile detention facilities across the country. Of those, 60% are in private, for-profit facilities. The 13th amendment to the US Constitution, which outlaws slavery expect upon conviction of a criminal offense, has left a loophole that these companies have exploited to enslave our children.
It’s the year 2015. There should be NO exceptions for slavery in our country, especially when it comes to our children. Private prisons and juvenile detention facilities subject their victims to violence and brutality that can scar them for life, and only sets up a series of legal hurdles to keep them returning to that system. Corporations shouldn’t profit from our childrens’ misery. It’s time to end the system that incentivizes incarceration and exploits our most vulnerable populations and focus our efforts on creating opportunities for our children to build a world better than the one we’ve left them.
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