Archive for January, 2004

Rapper Kieth Murray on the Prison system of America
By Keith Murray
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Keith Murray

A person gets locked up, he has to pay money to his lawyers, while the lawyers break bread, so to speak, with the system. Jails have contracts with food companies, making those companies serious money. Prisoners work while incarcerated for below minimum wageƐas low as seven cents per hour and their productivity helps run the jail. The little money they do receive goes back into the system because they spend their meager earnings on the products that the jails are selling.
The court system is putting juveniles in jail for life, treating these young people literally like animals. The justice system failed me. I have no trust and confidence in the system as far as I can throw it. I think the government and the courts are cynical, democrats and republicans go back and forth fighting for the power while we (the citizens) are in the middle of the brawl, only to be misused, discriminated against and deprived of our basic civil rights.

The system locks up individuals and gives them hard time (depending on your skin tone), justifying it by claiming that incarceration is cleaning up the streets. Prison is a harsh realm of negative emotions, which gives the individual on lockdown social anxiety and a constant feeling of unpredictability. They prey on our ignorance, divide and sacrifice our overall growth and intellectual development in life, creating a domino effect. When a person is locked up, it is not only affecting him, it is also straining family members, their kids and friends. But as long as it stays a corporate money machine, the system does not care.

They say prison is for rehabilitation, but there are only bullsh!t programs that are not helping anyone; it is only stagnating people, retarding their growth, not helping them better themselves. Rehabilitation is a myth. I think the courts are meant to work against a certain type of person, namely the underprivileged people of society. The system has a conscious disguise behind their evil intentions. Like any other business, they have a quota to fill and they have to arrest a certain number of people to make ends meet.

I feel that prison was designed to create repeat offenders because I’ve experienced it firsthand. The system is like a revolving door, creating a pattern of recidivism where one person goes out, another comes in, and the person who left is programmed to fail, relapsing into a life of perpetual crime. I can’t say for sure that I won’t go back to prison; anything can happen, and I’ve watched it happen to other people. One thing is for certain, though the elevation of the mind is the only means of survival.

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