In the United States of America, there is a hidden one percent, the one percent the lives behind bars, incarcerated in the belly of the beast. One any given day, 2.2 million men, women, and children live within one of the more than 5,000 locked facilities located across the nation. Mass incarceration comes with a price tag of $70 billion per year that is thrust upon the taxpayers, while private corporations line their pockets with profits.
The prison industrial complex exploded in 1980, under the auspices of President Ronald Reagan, who reaped what Richard Nixon had sewn a decade before when he created the “War on Drugs” as a cover story to destroy minority communities. Over the past 36 years, the prison system has quadrupled in size, creating a crisis level event that is hidden from public sight.
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Photo: Anonymous, courtesy of Steve Davis, Incarcerated girls at Remann Hall, Tacoma, Washington, reenact restraint techniques in a pinhole camera workshop, 2002.