With the United States having a higher prison incarceration rate than the countries we considered autocratic such as Iran, China and Germany one would hope that the War on Drugs implemented in the 1970s would soon come to an end, again one would hope.
From the unjust use of prisoners set to help the community with a rate of pay starting at $1 an hour, to the fact that mass incarceration not only involves the millions of people in our prisons but also their families. Richard Nixon engraved this thought into white Americas head that the different usages of the same drug should result in different sentences for black people versus white people. He, on the other hand, is slowly creating a stage of genocide.
The United States incarceration rate is so high compared to the countries we see as repressive such as Iran, Cuba, and Russia for example. That reason being they do not see a reason to imprison everyone who breaks a crime, they punish to the extent that is needed. There should be no reason someone gets a 5-year charge for petty theft; our facilities and money are being drained when people who are not a threat to society could simply partake in community service or pay a fine for their crime.
When you imprison our minorities, they are essentially being degraded to second-class citizens although the image of “a new lifestyle” is advertised for people once they are released from jail they do not have the same opportunities they once did, from getting their voting rights taken away, not being able to take out student loans for school, and job restrictions.
The use of the prisoners in California to fight wildfires is a modern-day example of legalized slavery. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations ensure all inmates volunteer on their own behalf, they are put through a process of evaluation to determine whether they are going to be proactive members who will cooperate fully. $1 a day when dealing with active fires, and $2 a day when not, also earning time off their sentences however on average in California firefighters make $33.26 a day and that can range all the way up to $50.00.
So, although it is understood that they are volunteering to do this task it does not change the fact that the United States has the highest rate of mass incarceration in the world. The millions of people in jail due to institutionalized classism and racism and our government saves millions of dollars by paying, the prisoners who are the same people putting their lives on the line, pennies.
According to the 13th amendment, the War on Drugs institution was the highest record in American history to contribute to the amount of enslaved people. Leading to the United States budget of almost 3 trillion dollars the mass incarceration surplus did not last as long as hoped because when Barack Obama, Americas first African-American president, was elected America was revived from an economic crash worst than the Great Depression stock market crash.