|In most nations where Europeans control the economy, Black males, and other people of
color, make up the majority of the prison populations. The prison system has become a profit-
making industry that is now being used as a substitute for the system of slavery. Proposals
are even being considered to require prisoners to pay for being in prison. The number of
people incarcerated continues to explode, although violent crime rates have been declining.
Well over half of the prison population has been convicted for drug offenses. Books such as
Dark Alliance, the CIA, Contras and Crack Cocaine, by Gary Webb, abundantly document
the government’s role in importing dangerous drugs into the Black and other non-White
communities in the US and around the world. Statistics and Rush Limbaugh confirm that the
rate of drug usage among Whites is much higher than in the Black community. The vast
majority of the large-scale drug dealers are not only White, many of them are agents of the
American and European law enforcement, military and covert-intelligence institutions.
However, most of the people in prison for drug related offenses are non-Whites.
The system has been established to permit the racial profiling, surveillance, harassment,
arrest, beating, imprisonment, killing and the general denial of rights to large numbers of
Black and non-European people. It is also designed to incapacitate large numbers of our
people through drug addiction, prostitution and street violence. Each step in the process
brings profits to those in control and further impoverishes our communities. All the while, we
hear those in power moralizing about “ individual responsibility” for drug use, while justice for
the real crimes against our people is continuously denied.
We must insure that this system is dismantled and reconstructed under the control of the
people most effected, us. The number of Black people in prison must be reduced to no more
than the percentage of Black people in the general population. The tax dollars we pay must
be re-directed to schools, training programs, scholarships, health care, drug rehabilitation
and business investment for Black-owned businesses. There would be no net increase in
government expenditure because the funds would come from the reduction in spending on
such things as the “war on drugs”, immigration control and prisons. With more supportive
services and education, at least half of the current funding for the prison-industrial complex
could be reallocated for these purposes.
All serious felony convictions for Black inmates must be reviewed by boards made up of
people reflecting the racial/social makeup of the community where the prisoner lived. Where
the conviction appears to be unjustified or unfair, the community must exert pressure on the
government to have the sentence reduced or reversed. Blacks convicted of non-violent or
“victimless crimes”, such as drug use, prostitution and immigration violations must be
released and enrolled in rehabilitation and training programs operated by their local
communities. Full citizenship rights including voting rights must be restored to former
inmates once their sentences have been served.
Contracts for the construction, maintenance, supply and management of prisons with majority
Black populations must be awarded primarily to Black-owned companies. Education and
vocational training programs must be required for inmates and the majority of these
programs must be presented by Black owned companies and educational institutions where
the majority of the prisoners are Black.
For civil and misdemeanor complaints, the community arbitration systems described above
should be the preferred method of resolution. We must take the leading role in maintaining
lawfulness, justice and security in our communities.
|5. ENLIGHTENED LEGAL JUSTICE SYSTEM