Blue Is The New Black

Since my incarceration, I frequently get the question, “have you seen Orange Is The New Black?”

I hadn’t seen it before my imprisonment, but have binge-watched 2 seasons since my release. Unlike other series, it didn’t take long to get burned out on the tedium of this show. Yes there are similarities with the show and real life incarceration, but keep in mind the series is about prison life and even though the terms are often used interchangeably, prisons and jails are different.

The United States has approximately 1.8 million people behind bars: about 100,000 in federal custody, 1.1 million in state custody, and 600,000 in local jails. Prisons hold inmates convicted of federal or state crimes; jails hold people awaiting trial or serving short sentences. The United States now imprisons more people than an
y other country in the world—perhaps half a million more than Communist China. The Prison-Industrial Complex

RAMSEY COUNTY CORRECTIONAL FACILITY

Once you arrive at RCCF, you are photographed, fingerprinted and charged a $20 booking fee. Once you’re booked and given inmate attire, you’re assigned to a housing unit. There are 3 different dorms for women. The main one has cells vs. bunk beds in an open room. I was assigned to the top bunk in Cell #7 and had 10 different “cellies” during my 4 months.(Oh and no pillows unless you have a medical reason to have one).

          “Blues & Shoes” Ramsey County Correctional Facility Female Inmate Uniforms

You can’t bring any hygiene items, electronic devices, or other personal items in, but you can purchase items from Inmate Canteen for outrageously exorbitant prices. RCCF inmates are given a hygiene bag after being admitted which includes a plastic cup, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, comb, an elastic hair tie and flip flops. No jewelry is allowed.

RCCF Toothpaste (also worked well as glue)

Pepsodent was the “real” toothpaste that you could order from Inmate Canteen and Suave products were like gold! Shampoo and conditioner was only 4 bucks a bottle. If you had it, you shared it with the dorm. Because I was on the lower tier, I constantly had people knocking on my cell door to “borrow” things, including water from my sink for their ramen noodles.

The 89¢ rubber pen     

  • No makeup is allowed but inmates do get creative with colored pencils. The pencils also have to be purchased through Inmate Canteen unless you win them as  a prize for attending the Learning Center. The Center provides adult basic education programs in reading, writing, math, and GED prep as well as classes on personal finance, job seeking and retention, career exploration, computer skills, and driver’s license preparation and testing.
  • Lights on at 6:30am and lights out at 10:30pm (the lights are never really off, just dimmed).
  • Inmates are required to stand for count at 11:05am, 5:05pm, and 10;00pm. That means that you are locked in your cell and you must stand by the window in your door to make sure everyone is in the dorm.
  • Inmates cannot enter others cells or loiter in front of cell doorways.
  • No food from meals can be brought into your cell.
  • No note passing or canteen items between dorms.
  • Razors can only be used after 6:30pm
  • Inmates are allowed 4 books, I bible, and 4 magazines (Perk for working in the library was getting newer magazines before pages were torn out for recipes, decorating ideas, etc.)
  • Inmates are only allowed one 20-minute video visit per week using a phone and video camera.
  • Inmates get one free, 60-second phone call after being admitted. Legal calls to lawyers and probation officers are free. A listing of free calls is provided to all inmates. Other calls may have a fee that is charged by the minute. Inmates are allowed to make collect calls. The Prison Policy Initiative found that families pay $1 billion annually to call relatives in prison, and until 2013, calls could cost $17 for a 15 minutes (the FCC cracked down on this and those calls now cost $3.75). What Incarceration Costs American Families
  • No volume on TV. Must purchase $30 headset to listen.
  • $5 to see the nurse
  • $15 to have a tooth pulled

Rule violations may result in loss of good time, time spent in security, administrative segregation  restitution and/or upward departure of established sanctions.

Cash or Credit? Paying for Your Time: How Charging Inmates Fees Behind Bars May Violate the Excessive Fines Clause

Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment The Eighth Amendment provides “[e]xcessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” I guess the majority of judges didn’t get the memo!

“Over the last 30 years, for-profit prison corporations, such as Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and GEO Group (formerly Wackenhut Corrections Corporation), have benefited from the dramatic rise in incarceration and detention in the United States. Since the advent of prison privatization in the early 1980’s, the number of people behind bars in the US has risen by more than 500 percent to more than 2.2 million people.   Image result for treatment industrial complex

The result is an emerging “Treatment Industrial Complex” (TIC) — the movement of the for-profit prison industry into correctional medical care, mental health treatment, and ‘community corrections.’ Community corrections include corrections programs outside of jail or prison walls: probation and parole services including halfway houses; day reporting centers; drug and alcohol treatment programs; home confinement; electronic monitoring; and an array of supportive services such as educational classes and job training. Community corrections is a huge business, with three times as many people under “community corrections” programs as currently incarcerated in prison facilities.

While the prison industrial complex was dependent on incarceration or detention in prisons, jails, and other correctional institutions, this emerging “treatment industrial complex” allows the same corporations (and many new ones) to profit from providing treatment-oriented programs and services.

As a result, this emerging Treatment Industrial Complex has the potential to ensnare more individuals, under increased levels of supervision and surveillance, for increasing lengths of time—in some cases, for the rest of a person’s life.  How For-Profit Prison Corporations are Undermining Efforts to Treat and Rehabilitate Prisoners for Corporate Gain


Law enforcement agencies can also get extra money from federal grants.

Community Corrections – Grants and Funding Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)

BJA supports law enforcement, courts, corrections, treatment, victim services, technology, and prevention initiatives that strengthen the nation’s justice system. BJA offers a Grant Writing and Management Academy and provides funding through a number of programs for corrections.

Federal grants are never free and they almost always come with strings attached. Federal “assistance” allows the feds to dictate state policies and even what the states do with large chunks of their own money.


The bottom line is whether it’s jail or prison, people are being incarcerated for non-violent and non-criminal offenses. It’s the money that drives this system and there is a lot of money to be made from criminalizing nonviolent activities and jailing people for nonviolent offenses.


The essence of nomocracy, the rule of law, is limitation of the discretion of officials, and providing a process by which errors or abuse of discretion can be corrected. Some discretion is unavoidable, because law cannot anticipate every eventuality or how to decide which law may apply to a given situation. What guidance the law cannot provide is supposed to be provided by standard principles of justice and due process, reason, and the facts of each case. Ideally, officials should be mutually consistent and interchangeable, making similar decisions in similar cases, so that no one can gain an undue advantage by choosing the official or exercising undue influence on the official or on the process he operates. We trust officials to exercise such discretion as they have with wisdom, justice, and competence, to avoid government that is arbitrary, insolent, discriminatory, prejudiced, intrusive and corrupt.     Abuse of Judicial Discretion~ Jon Roland 

We’re definitely past the point of avoiding government that is arbitrary, intrusive and corrupt. The good news is that people are waking up and wising up and starting to demand a governance  that will preserve, protect and promote truth, justice and liberty.

AJ Kern For Congress

This was AJ Kern’s CD6 GOP Convention Video.

AJ Kern CD6

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FBI INSTRUCTS HIGH SCHOOLS TO INFORM ON “ANTI-GOVERNMENT” STUDENTS

Constitutionalists figure prominently on the target list

AJ Kern for Congress

Emmer-Kern

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AJ Kern for Congress

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“Made In America”

How These 7 Popular Companies Are Exploiting Prisoners And Ruining The Economy

American corporations are making a killing off of exploiting inmates instead of giving jobs to unemployed Americans.

Credit: Buycott

Credit Boycott

The prison-industrial complex: some may have heard of it, but this term is still widely unknown amongst the masses despite its huge effect on the American economy. This complex is described as“the overlapping interests of government and industry that use surveillance, policing, and imprisonment as solutions to economic, social and political problems.” The interests of the government are their efforts to increase their policing of people rather than solving the root of the problems, which leads to over-incarceration. The interests of industries are their financial holds over privately-owned prisons and their exploitation of prison workers who are underpaid and overworked.

How does this affect America? First of all, outsourcing, which is frowned upon by those who know about it because of its economic effect on American citizens, is replaced with “insourcing,” which is when corporations employ prisoners for as little as $0.23 per hour. Outsourcing affects the American economy by choosing to employ workers in foreign countries rather than displaced workers in America itself, thus causing a rise in unemployment and poverty.

Insourcing is just as bad for the economy for several reasons. The extremely low pay for prisoners might be fine if the prices they have to pay for communication and commissary items weren’t so vastly inflated compared to their wages. Instead of being released from prison with job experience and a small bit of money in their pocket to get back on their feet, inmates are often released with a debt to the prison that they can’t pay off because of the low wages.

Some might argue that these inmates are criminals, so they should take what they get and not complain, but consider what this means for America as a whole. Since these criminals are in debt upon release, they re-enter society as unstable individuals looking for any way to earn money again, often causing them to relapse into old habits or crimes and landing them back in prison. The American taxpayers are the ones that wind up paying for the prisoners’ continued stays in correctional facilities, which could have been avoided if the inmates didn’t have the debt and had better job training or program opportunities.

Meanwhile, the companies that employ prisoners often get huge tax breaks, which is millions of dollars that the American people could have benefited from. On top of all of that, citizens of America that aren’t incarcerated don’t have those job opportunities that are given to inmates. Less Americans with jobs means that the economy remains stagnant because less citizens are spending money. So, yes, it has a significant impact on all Americans.

While most huge companies in America employ prisoners, here is a list of household names that really make a killing off of the prison-industrial complex:

1 – Whole Foods: Often called “Whole Paycheck” because of its pricey items, this company came under fire when it was revealed that they were selling artisan cheeses prepared by prisoners who were only paid $0.60/day. Critics pointed out that these kinds of wages are not fair trade.

2 – BP: A perfect example of how insourcing affects displaced workers, BP had a massive oil spill on the Gulf Coast and exclusively hired inmates to come do the clean up. Though there were plenty of fisherman that were displaced because of the oil spill and in need of work, BP did not extend the opportunity of employment to them and offered no remedy for the issue.

3 – McDonald’s: This fast-food franchise employs inmates to make a number of items for them, from plastic cutlery to uniforms. The inmates who make the uniforms earn significantly less than those who wear the uniforms, which is already called a “starvation wage” rather than a minimum wage because it is impossible to live with the small hourly pay.

4 – AT&T: Over 20 years ago, this well-known and widely-used tech company laid off thousands of union telephone operators and replaced them with prisoners in their call centers in order to increase their profits. AT&T has employed them in this same fashion ever since 1993 while paying them only $2 per day.

5 – Wal-Mart: This huge company might claim to never exploit prisoners, but just like everything else Wal-Mart does, their method of increasing a profit is shady at best. Nearly everything on their shelves is supplied by prison laborers through third-party companies that place prisoners in prison farms with minimal access to water or food.

6 – Aramark: Known for its monopoly over food service throughout the U.S., this corporation also provides food for hundreds of prisons in America. They may be well known but that doesn’t mean they don’t have their share of issues; a massive food shortage that affected their service to prisons in Kentucky even caused a prison riot in 2009.

7 – Victoria’s Secret: Inmates in South Carolina sew some of the pricey undergarments sold at this lingerie store. In a famous late ’90s story, two female prisoners came forward and revealed that they were paid to replace already-sewn garments saying “Made in Honduras” tags with “Made in USA” tags. The two inmates were placed in solitary confinement for blowing the whistle on Victoria’s Secret.

If you see a “Made in USA” tag on something, it’s likely that it was made in an American prison rather than by citizens who aren’t incarcerated. While it’s great that these inmates are learning valuable skills that could help them once they’re released, to say that companies are exploiting these prisoners and making a huge profit at the expense of all American citizens would be an understatement.

What do you think about prison laborers being employed by huge corporations? Are you surprised that some of these companies made the list? Comment your thoughts below and share this article!

This article (“Made In America”: How These 7 Popular Companies Are Exploiting Prisoners And Ruining The Economy) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TrueActivist.com.

Activist Post

Obey = Slavery, Disobey = Freedom

By David Icke

Obey = Slavery, Disobey = Freedom – The David Icke weekly videocast trailer. David talks about censorship and explains how the war on freedom of speech is unfolding. Many activists don’t even realize that they’re participating in their own censorship. Additionally, Icke discusses the ways people are diverging from the establishment.

FLASHBACK: GEORGE CARLIN BASHES POLITICAL CORRECTNESS

Comedian warns PC culture poses massive threat to free speech

Reading from his book, “When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops,” Carlin touches back on a topic covered in his previous work, “Brain Droppings,” and warns political correctness poses a massive threat to free speech.

“Political correctness is America’s newest form of intolerance, and it is especially pernicious because it comes disguised as tolerance. It presents itself as fairness, yet attempts to restrict and control people’s language with strict codes and rigid rules. I’m not sure that’s the way to fight discrimination. I’m not sure silencing people or forcing them to alter their speech is the best method for solving problems that go much deeper than speech.”