Louisiana has assailed its residents to a level unequal to any other state, entering the new year with another signature No. 1 ranking in lockups. It has created a system more efficient and despondent than state run prisons or regular privatization. The costs are low, profits high and human life is a commodity that allows the market to keep growing.
The poor, stripped of legal protection, have become fodder for a system of mass incarceration that serves corporate greed rather than justice. Debbie Bourne, a mother of two, is to the prison-industrial complex not a person but a commodity.
The decision to execute William Van Poyck, who in his writings from death row has chronicled our penal system’s depravity, is one more footnote to our perverted belief in the regeneration of society through violence.
A new study by the Pew Hispanic Center reports that Latinos now constitute the largest single ethnic group in the U.S. federal prison system. The rising arrest and detention levels are driven largely by changes in immigration law that criminalize undocumented immigration, with nearly half of all Latino offenders jailed on immigration-related “crimes.”