I chose the prison industrial complex as my topic because I’m interested in the school to prison track, the prison industrial complex, and the prison system as a form of punishment. In high school, I worked on a lot of restorative justice bills that were in the California legislature but also at my school. My community work opened my eyes to the large amount of practices in the school system that pushed marginalized folks out of schools and into the prison system.
As I’ve done more research, it’s become apparent that “incarceration nation” is rampant in our society. There are tons of statistics that indicate its prevalence, for example “since 1980, California has built 22 prisons,” (California Endowment). The demand for prisoners increase when even more prisons are created. There’s also an increasing trend of private prisons, which then becomes a corporate interest. “The prison population has grown over 500% in 30 years,” (Huffington Post).
I’m curious to continue analyzing and studying the structures and culture that push people into the prison system and the prison system itself. I’ve inserted an interesting video that I found of Angela Davis that talks more about these issues: