Episode 40 - Land of the Free

Never have as many people been locked up than right now, here in the United States. The US has more prisoners per capita than anywhere else on the planet and that number continues to climb at a terrifying rate. Once within the prison system, inmates are abused and exploited out of sight and out of mind of the rest of the population. With these crimes against humanity growing ever greater and the impossible to ignore racial disparity continuing to get worse, it's time we take a critical look at our prison system and the monster we've all created.

This episode is dedicated to the prisoners currently on strike across the United States who just want to be treated with the humanity that all of us deserve.

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Full Transcript Available


  • 3:49 Nothing New
  • 11:42 Prisons in America Today
  • 15:57 Prison Labor Today
  • 27:42 What sparked the strike?
  • 28:53 Forced riots
  • 32:54 All demands matter
  • 38:28 What can we do on the outside?
  • 42:38 Language
  • 45:18 Risks higher for some
  • 46:36 How large is this prison strike?
  • 57:52 Benefits of labor?
  • 1:03:33 Disenfranchisement: Has the debt been paid or not?
  • 1:05:40 Collapse?
  • 1:12:20 What can we do?

Guest From the Show

Will Adams of the IWOC Oakland chapter. Twitter and Instagram

Donate and support the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee

During the interview, Will mentioned that ICE detainees do not have access to lawyers. He would like to clarify:

They don't have 6th amendment right to a public defender, and even when they do have an attorney which they paid for themselves, or get through an immigrant rights org, their access is fucked with so much in some places that there are lawsuits pending about it.

Recommended Reading

Unicor prison labor marketing video

How much do incarcerated people earn in each state?

Trends in US Corrections

States of Incarceration: The Global Context 2018

The Appeal Episode 11: Big Box Retailers and Prosecutors Team Up to Crackdown on Petty Crime

'Black lives don't matter,' lawyer says after jury awards $4 in police killing

Music Credit

Music by Time (from calm.)

Find Time on Soundcloud and Instagram

Fan Remix

Ashes Ashes remix by ΔLLFΔLL


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@misc{Beth Schwartzapfel_2014, title={The Great American Chain Gang}, url={http://prospect.org/article/great-american-chain-gang}, journal={The American Prospect}, author={Beth Schwartzapfel}, year={2014}, month={May} }

@misc{Bob Ortega_2018, title={Senators ask DHS to enforce immigrant detainee labor standards}, url={https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/13/us/senators-letter-dhs-ice-detention-work-program-invs/index.html}, journal={CNN}, author={Bob Ortega}, year={2018}, month={Aug} }

@misc{Bob Sloan_2013, title={Casinos & Prison Labor – Strange Bedfellows}, url={http://vltp.net/casinos-prison-labor-strange-bedfellows/}, journal={VLTP}, author={Bob Sloan}, year={2013}, month={Mar} }

@misc{Brian Magee_2017, title={REDISTRIBUTE THE PAIN CAMPAIGN Boycott, Defund, Bankrupt – Say NO to canteen, incentive packages, collect phone calls and visitation during February, April, June, Black August, October and December in 2018}, url={https://redistributethepain.wordpress.com/2017/11/25/featured-content/}, journal={redistributethepain}, author={Brian Magee}, year={2017}, month={Nov} }

@misc{Catherine Shoichet_2018, title={Lawsuit alleges “forced labor” in immigrant detention}, url={https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/17/us/immigrant-detention-forced-labor-lawsuit/index.html}, journal={CNN}, author={Catherine Shoichet}, year={2018}, month={Apr} }

@misc{Economist_2017, title={Prison labour is a billion-dollar industry, with uncertain returns for inmates}, url={https://www.economist.com/united-states/2017/03/16/prison-labour-is-a-billion-dollar-industry-with-uncertain-returns-for-inmates}, journal={The Economist}, author={Economist}, year={2017}, month={Mar} }

@misc{Eliott McLaughlin_2018, title={“Black lives don’t matter,” lawyer says after jury awards $4 in police killing}, url={https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/31/us/florida-police-shooting-four-dollar-jury-award-gregory-hill/index.html}, journal={CNN}, author={Eliott McLaughlin}, year={2018}, month={Jun} }

@misc{Fire Inside Collective_2018, title={August 21st is Going to be LIT}, url={https://incarceratedworkers.org/news/august-21st-going-be-lit}, journal={Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee}, author={Fire Inside Collective}, year={2018}, month={Jun} }

@misc{Garance Burke_Laura Wides-Munoz_2012, title={Immigrants prove big business for prison companies}, url={https://www.yahoo.com/news/immigrants-prove-big-business-prison-companies-084353195.html}, journal={Yahoo}, author={Garance Burke and Laura Wides-Munoz}, year={2012}, month={Aug} }

@misc{Ida Mojadad_2018, title={San Quentin Protest Planned to Support National Prison Strike - August 23, 2018}, url={http://www.sfweekly.com/news/san-quentin-protest-planned-to-support-national-prison-strike/}, journal={SF Weekly}, author={Ida Mojadad}, year={2018}, month={Aug} }

@misc{John Burnett_2017, title={Big Money As Private Immigrant Jails Boom}, url={https://www.npr.org/2017/11/21/565318778/big-money-as-private-immigrant-jails-boom}, journal={NPR.org}, author={John Burnett}, year={2017}, month={Nov} }

@misc{Keith Johnson_2012, title={Prison Industry Stealing U.S. Jobs}, url={http://americanfreepress.net/prison-industry-stealing-u-s-jobs/}, journal={American Free Press}, author={Keith Johnson}, year={2012}, month={Aug} }

@misc{Kevin Rashid Johnson_2018, title={Prison labor is modern slavery. I’ve been sent to solitary for speaking out}, url={https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/23/prisoner-speak-out-american-slave-labor-strike}, journal={The Guardian}, author={Kevin Rashid Johnson}, year={2018}, month={Aug} }

@misc{Kristine Phillips, title={Thousands of ICE detainees claim they were forced into labor, a violation of anti-slavery laws}, url={https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/03/05/thousands-of-ice-detainees-claim-they-were-forced-into-labor-a-violation-of-anti-slavery-laws/}, journal={Washington Post}, author={Kristine Phillips} }

@misc{Ky Plaskon_2015, title={Nevada’s “Big House” Products is Booming Industry}, url={https://www.lasvegasnow.com/news/nevadas-big-house-products-is-booming-industry/81382774}, journal={LASVEGASNOW}, author={Ky Plaskon}, year={2015}, month={May} }

@misc{Lopez_2016, title={We’re in the midst of the biggest prison strike in US history}, url={https://www.vox.com/identities/2016/10/19/13306178/prison-strike-protests-attica}, journal={Vox}, author={Lopez, German}, year={2016}, month={Oct} }

@misc{Meg Kinnard_2018, title={7 inmates killed as prisoners fight over money, territory}, url={https://finance.yahoo.com/news/state-police-respond-ongoing-situation-sc-prison-085315357.html}, journal={Yahoo}, author={Meg Kinnard}, year={2018}, month={Apr} }

@article{Meijers_Harte_Meynen_Cuijpers_Scherder_2018, title={Reduced Self-Control after 3 Months of Imprisonment; A Pilot Study}, volume={9}, ISSN={1664-1078}, url={https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00069/full}, DOI={10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00069}, journal={Frontiers in Psychology}, author={Meijers, Jesse and Harte, Joke M. and Meynen, Gerben and Cuijpers, Pim and Scherder, Erik J. A.}, year={2018}, month={Feb} }

@misc{Peter Wagner_Wendy Sawyer_2018, title={States of Incarceration: The Global Context 2018}, url={https://www.prisonpolicy.org/global/2018.html}, journal={Prison Policy Initiative}, author={Peter Wagner and Wendy Sawyer}, year={2018}, month={Jun} }

@misc{Peterson_2016, title={Cops unconstitutional conduct brings $1 in damages}, url={http://www.wndu.com/content/news/Cops-unconstitutional-conduct-brings-1-in-damages--389333911.html}, journal={WNDU}, author={Peterson, Mark}, year={2016}, month={Aug} }

@misc{Samuel Pollard_Sheila Bernard_2012, title={Slavery by Another Name | PBS}, url={http://www.pbs.org/tpt/slavery-by-another-name/home/}, journal={Slavery by Another Name | PBS}, author={Samuel Pollard and Sheila Bernard}, year={2012}, month={Feb} }

@misc{Sawyer_2017, title={How much do incarcerated people earn in each state?}, url={https://www.prisonpolicy.org/blog/2017/04/10/wages/}, journal={Prison Policy Initiative}, author={Sawyer, Wendy}, year={2017}, month={Apr} }

@misc{Shahshahani_2018, title={Why are for-profit US prisons subjecting detainees to forced labor? | Azadeh Shahshahani}, url={https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/17/us-private-prisons-forced-labour-detainees-modern-slavery}, journal={The Guardian}, author={Shahshahani, Azadeh}, year={2018}, month={May} }

@article{Shannon_Uggen_Schnittker_Thompson_Wakefield_Massoglia_2017, title={The Growth, Scope, and Spatial Distribution of People With Felony Records in the United States, 1948–2010}, volume={54}, ISSN={1533-7790}, DOI={10.1007/s13524-017-0611-1}, number={5}, journal={Demography}, author={Shannon, Sarah K. S. and Uggen, Christopher and Schnittker, Jason and Thompson, Melissa and Wakefield, Sara and Massoglia, Michael}, year={2017}, month={Oct}, pages={1795–1818} }

@misc{Stephen Raher_2018, title={The Company Store: A Deeper Look at Prison Commissaries}, url={https://www.prisonpolicy.org/reports/commissary.html}, journal={Prison Policy Initiative}, author={Stephen Raher}, year={2018}, month={May} }

@misc{Wagner_2015, title={In memory of Nils Christie, 1928-2015}, url={https://www.prisonpolicy.org/blog/2015/06/09/nils-christie/}, journal={Prison Policy Initiative}, author={Wagner, Peter}, year={2015}, month={Jun} }

@misc{Winer_2015, title={These 5 Everyday Companies Are Profiting from the Prison-Industrial Complex}, url={https://groundswell.org/prison-industrial-complex/}, journal={Groundswell}, author={Winer, Canton}, year={2015}, month={Apr} }

@misc{Wired_2009, title={Nils Christie: Empty the Prisons}, url={https://www.wired.com/2009/09/ff-smartlist-christie/}, journal={Wired}, author={Wired}, year={2009}, month={Sep} }

Published 06-09-2018 00:41