About Prison

By Sister Amazon

Prison is government. Prison is one of the most stark, living images of the tyranny of government, with its secrecy, unrestrained cruelty, corruption, tortuous conditions and treatment, extreme sexism and racism and hate by guards, and its overall degrading nature at the hands of “prisoncrats”. Mass incarceration is the product of the failures of society in terms of social institutions, economy, politicians, and state and federal governments. Prisons and prisoners are the cover-up and scapegoats of these failures. Prisons have become increasingly relied upon to hold back and stamp out social protest of the errors and tyranny of government, and the desire for people to be really free, by locking up anti-social and anti-government protesters and anyone who challenges injustice, inhumanity and tyrannical rule. Prison, by its very idea and nature, acts tyrannically toward it subjects, with or without impunity. Prisoncrats essentially answer to no one and cannot be controlled with token toothless checks-and- balances measures. Prisons are anti-nature and have become extremely harmful and dangerous institutions of government, producing angry, vengeful subjects, extreme violence and bizarre behavior in people who are then released back into society, untreated. Prisoncrats are well aware of this cycle but care not for the public above their own self-perpetuating interest, which is money and its attendant political power to buy off politicians and control election agendas to their benefit which means more prisons, more guards and a bigger and more powerful union and treasure chest for their ever-expanding schemes, which always produce in the end, harsher conditions for prisoners. Prisons have become a power bloc with broad political and economic influence both domestically and abroad. As with corrupt government and the ultimate demise of any government, prison is a sudden image of what is taking place in society by degrees: the steady erosion of fundamental human rights, restrictions on movement and privacy and possessions, and naked tyranny camouflaged in civil rhetoric. The day-to-day unbearable existence of prison life will eventually befall the greater society, absent the dissolution of government.

The United States is the only government in the world with a constitution that unabashedly enshrines slavery on its subjects, making slavery and conditions of slavery constitutionally right, proper, required and thereby morally and legally right and sustainable. The institution of slavery that the Constitution proposes, enacts and upholds is that of prison, found in the 13th Amendment. The 13th Amendment, which actually was an afterthought, reserves slavery and “involuntary servitude” as punishment for violating the law. This pro-slavery clause has been supported and more firmly instituted by rulings at all levels of court, up to the Supreme Court. It is practiced and enforced by the treatment of prisoners like slaves, with every kind of brutality, inhumanity and more vileness – a virtual green light to treat us as less than human, degrade us and strip us of our sense of self-worth. The 13th Amendment is cloaked in anti-slavery sleight-of-tongue riddles, but we prisoners are slaves and exist in slave status, and this makes it right and permissible, even laudable, to deny prisoners normal human rights as others have and to treat us inhumanely. We are not considered full human beings with full human rights and respect due us. Prisoners are reminded of this day-in-and-day-out by the way in which we are treated by guards, medical personnel, and others in the prisons. Among the results that have been popular are uprisings like Attica Prison in New York in 1971, where protesting prisoners asking only to be treated like human beings were massacred in cold blood on the order of politicians in such unbridled and savage carnage by National Guard troops that they also shot dead prison guards. Prison guards have been killed by inmates throughout the life of prisons in apparent acts of desperation. It takes very extreme conditions to make hardened prisoners do such a thing, along with conditions far beyond human endurance. Prisons are seething with frustration and anguish in an environment of unprecedented violence and terrifying realities. It does not get any worse. Suicide is common. Still, voters (i.e., society at large), prisoncrats, politicians and presidents steadily take more and more things away from us in already extremely restrictive living conditions, such as visiting time, conjugal visits, reading material, property, medical treatment, access to foods and products, religious practices, grooming practices, access to courts and the press, the need to strike and protest, and make harsher laws that keep us in prison longer or for life. The courts upheld that prisoners are not entitled to such human things and may be so treated, citing the 13th Amendment Slavery Clause. The most powerful and influential governing and review bodies have made it clear that rather than having human rights under the Constitution, these things, and more, were only privileges that can be just as easily taken away as they had been allowed, with no legal or moral consequence attached and at the discretion of prisoncrats.  Thus, the deny them to prisoners is lawfully theirs.

Surely, as any dog in an alley would sympathize, such a constitution, system, society, and government must be overthrown in the interest of humanity. There is no other solution; everything else has failed miserably.

 Sister Amazon

Corcoran State Prison

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One thought on “About Prison

  1. Sister Amazon,

    I was absolutely taken in by your essay on prisons. Your points on the reason for prisons and the connection to slavery are right on point. It is so sad to hear many ex-prisoners saying they were in prison because they messed up, because they didn’t get it together, because they couldn’t find a job, because they hung out with the wrong people, because they screwed up. When we see that it is the system that screwed up and that capitalism’s goal is to keep us from understanding the role of government and prisons–then we will be able to throw off our chains!

    Thank you so much for this–I am going to send it in to the activists that I know on death row here in Texas. They will love it and discus it as best as they can–they are permanently housed in isolation, 24/7.

    Love and solidarity,
    Gloria Rubac
    Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement

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