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  • “commitments to community safety within an unshakable framework of racial and economic justice are necessary to ensure that these “reforms” are not just new iterations of old, repressive models that primarily benefit the politicians and business executives who create them.”
    Yes! Thanks Kay for this excellent piece and thanks, as always, Nancy & CI for hosting such thought-provoking discussion.
    for a world without cages,

    • KayWhitlock

      @Vikki Thanks, Vikki.  So grateful for your work. 
      This never, ever ends, does it?  I’m glad I was mentored early on by activists who told me I would be in the struggle my whole life.

    • @Vikki hey vikki – thank you

    • Bob Phillips

       There’s an even more nefarious form, Vikki, than the models that >benefit politicians and business executives who create them.” Since Kay’s last eye opening piece about the “con game”, a vicious pun there, I’ve become more convinced than ever that the road “community corrections” will eventually ease on down is to follow the model of community based behavioral health.
      Tonight’s reading only reinforces that belief.
      After the crooked politicians and the greedy for profit prison corporations have finally so disgusted the larger public that they are run out of the prison industry the last model standing will be the “genuine” not-for-profits competing for grants and contracts to provide the “necessary” services. These not-for-profits are that only in that they have no shareholders to distribute profits to. It’s all in the salaries.
      Once “community based” corrections is truly up and running it will fall prey to the no shareholder not-for-profit and the rapacious class of graduate degreed “professionals” who are in it for nothing but their own careers. Given the total dollar amount of any particular grant or contract, they will be faced with the choice of spending the allocated funds on worthwhile programs or each others salaries. Need I go on?
      I already see this model at work housing the homeless and the Seriously Mentally Ill. Just as I see the shameless exploitation of the alleged client classes every day. Vultures with LCSWs

      • @Bob Phillips  @Vikki this ` Vultures with LCSWs
        sad but true Bob — too many devoted problems never being “solved” because jobs depend on it
        thank you

    • trashablanca


      • @trashablanca  @Vikki waving at you :)

        • trashablanca

          @nancy a heitzeg  @Vikki Oops, I was just quietly reading and reccing. I didn’t intend to leave a comment, and don’t know how it happened. w00psie!

  • MK

    Kay, wow, this is an excellent piece.  Thank you for writing it.  It’s important to we be wary of the fact that the non-profit industrial complex is intimately linked to the PIC. In fact, most prisons are non-profit entities after all.  I have seen the way that case workers in private social service organizations become an extended arm for state control… It is not pretty.  Add to it this “profit” motive and the whole things is a recipe for corruption as you point out so well.  I am also thinking of a good piece that I read by Wacquant a few years ago re: the myths of re-entry. Your essay also touches a bit on this.  Again so grateful to you for writing this. I’ve shared it online :)

    • KayWhitlock

      MK, thank you so much.  I so respect your work that your good words mean a great deal. 
      Excellent point that most prisons are nonprofit entities – like the Purloined Letter, an obvious but often overlooked point. 
      I’d love to read that piece on “the myth of re-entry.”  We recite it like a mantra, but what meaning does it really have in the profit-based political world now?  Once again, prisoners are a commodity to be bought and sold.  And some people still think there’s no link to slavery?
      I am beyond grateful to you for your work.
      Friends:  go to Project NIA at http://www.project-nia.org/
      And Prison Culture at http://www.usprisonculture.com/blog/
      Your work is essential and inspiring.  And not easy.  Much gratitude.

      • MK

        @KayWhitlock Thanks for those kind words Kay. I stand on your shoulders and those of so many others who have been doing this work much longer than I have.  Here is a link where I quote a long paragraph from that essay. I will look for his whole article when I get home from work and email it to you. – http://www.usprisonculture.com/blog/2010/12/30/prisoner-reentry-as-myth-lessons-from-michael-vick/

        • KayWhitlock

          Thanks so much, MK.
          Funny – I think I’m standing on your shoulders.

    • Yes..
      and i second all that Kay said.. always great to see you here MK

      • MK

        @nancy a heitzeg Great to “see” you too Nancy!

  • Very interesting and informative read Kay — particularly re: nonprofit industrial complex.  We need to be paying better attention, indeed.

    • KayWhitlock

      @Seeta There’s so much to this, Seeta.  Reminds me of how liberals/progressives (I was one of them) protested against  widespread abuses of indeterminate sentencing in the late sixties/early 70s.  Morphed into “truth in sentencing,” “3 strikes,” etc.  The Right is genius at identifying gathering momentum for reforms and then using them against us – all the while convincing people the reforms are good.

    • @Seeta yes.. another ‘slick” attempt to co-opt community -based programs ( which of course we prefer to prisons) and run them to both profit and expand the potential for pic expansion
      Disgusting — we need to resist on a large scale before it is to late

  • KayWhitlock

    We need to be paying attention, friends.  A lot of deception is being packaged into the Right on Crime publicity bliz and policy proposals.  Unfortunately, too many media pundits and liberals are accepting the deceptive facade as though it’s real.

    • @KayWhitlock Paying attention indeed.. This is the new scam to expand the profiteering..
      Real alternatives — not this mess — are required
      Do not be Fooled Again

      • KayWhitlock

        @nancy a heitzeg Exactly.  Expanding the prison industrial complex.