Prison Industrial Complex

Show Notes:

Today we are going to be talking about the Prison industrial complex and we’re going to also touch on a documentary we just seen called “13th” by Ava DuVernay, which is a very good documentary.

I’m going to start off with the fact that the 13th amendment never ended slavery.



Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.


Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

There is a lot that happened between the 13th amendment being introduced in 1865 and president Nixon’s term in office in starting in 1969, but for the sake of the war on drugs and how it applies to the prison industrial complex, we’re going to skip to president Nixon’s rein in office and how it is still effecting us today.

Richard Nixon’s domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman

“Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

This from May 22, 2016

A Former Nixon Aide Admitted the ‘War on Drugs’ Was Designed to Screw Over Blacks and Hippies

According to Watergate mastermind and former Richard Nixon aide John Ehrlichman, the then-president launched the notorious (and ongoing) war on drugs in 1971 to disrupt that administration’s two greatest perceived threats: black people and antiwar leftists.

The brazen quote surfaced in the April cover story of Harper’s magazine that was written by Dan Baum and went online Tuesday. The reporter recalls an interview back in 1994 in which Ehrlichman bluntly explained the whole thing.

“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying?” Ehrlichman told Baum. “We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

Ehrlichman’s quote serves as additional proof for the already pretty well established idea that President Nixon was racist (he also wasn’t a fan of the Jews). But the quote also serves as fresh fodder for reformers determined to capitalize on surging awareness of how drug laws feed mass incarceration rather than protect public safety.

Note: the US makes up 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the worlds prisoners.

  • Not only did the CIA use LSD in mind control experiments, but the CIA was collaborating with drugtraffickers moving cocaine and marijuana to the United States, and using its share of the profits to finance Nicaraguan Contra rebels attempting to overthrow Nicaragua’s Sandinista government.
  • They used that cocaine to destroy the black community.
  • They used the war on drugs to put away 1 in 3 Black males in the US
  • They used the exception clause in the 13th amendment to re-inact slavery.
  • Using Federal Prison Industries, Unicor to get free and slave wage labor out of millions of inmates for companies such as burger king, wal-mart and Victoria secret.

Many of the PIC laws are made by ALEC.

What is ALEC? (This from (

ALEC is not a lobby; it is not a front group. It is much more powerful than that. Through the secretive meetings of the American Legislative Exchange Council, corporate lobbyists and state legislators vote as equals on ‘model bills’ to change our rights that often benefit the corporations’ bottom line at public expense. ALEC is a pay-to-play operation where corporations buy a seat and a vote on ‘task forces’ to advance their legislative wish lists and can get a tax break for donations, effectively passing these lobbying costs on to taxpayers.

Along with legislators, corporations have membership in ALEC. Corporations sit on ALEC task forces and vote with legislators to approve “model” bills. They have their own corporate governing board which meets jointly with the legislative board. (ALEC says that corporations do not vote on the board.) Corporations fund almost all of ALEC’s operations.

Participating legislators, overwhelmingly conservative Republicans, then bring those proposals home and introduce them in statehouses across the land as their own brilliant ideas and important public policy innovations—without disclosing that corporations crafted and voted on the bills.

ALEC boasts that it has over 1,000 of these bills introduced by legislative members every year, with one in every five of them enacted into law. ALEC describes itself as a “unique,” “unparalleled” and “unmatched” organization. We agree. It is as if a state legislature had been reconstituted, yet corporations had pushed the people out the door.

  • Three strike law. That was ALEC
  • Truth in sentencing law. That was ALEC

What is crime drops and less people commit crimes? Don’t worry ALEC has a law for that

Prison Quotas Push Lawmakers To Fill Beds, Derail Reform Huffing Post Sep 20, 2013

After three violent inmates escaped from an Arizona private prison in July 2010, prompting a two-week, multi-state manhunt, state corrections officials demanded improvements and stopped sending new inmates to what they called a “dysfunctional” 3,300-bed facility.

Less than a year later, the company that runs the prison, Management & Training Corp., threatened to sue the state. A line in their contract guaranteed that the prison would remain 97 percent full. They argued they had lost nearly $10 million from the reduced inmate population.

State officials renegotiated the contract, but ended up paying $3 million for empty beds as the company continued to address problems, according to state documents and local news accounts.


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