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Will Conservatives Begin to Question the Prison-Industrial Complex?

[ 8 ] November 12, 2012 |

I’m very skeptical about how far-reaching this effort will be. But Dugan and Teles have some examples of it actually happening, and given the grim realities of mass incarceration I’ll take any ray of hope I can get.

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  1. Jameson Quinn says:

    The only rays of hope you can get are the ones you make.

    There are plenty of issues where a left-right alliance looks promising in some sense. Prisons, drugs, voting; heck, if you took conservatives at their word, even birth control and climate change. But in the end, it’s all too often as viable as a boot-face alliance. And when that’s not true, it’s only because internal organizing has put the left in a position of power on the issue.

  2. thebewilderness says:

    I am dubious that “reform” will do anything but complete the transition that started in the eighties to private for profit prisons and work camps. Slave labor in the modern age.

  3. Brandon C. says:

    If you drop the not too large prison-industrial complex voting bloc in favor of pandering to the youth pro-legalization voting block, you can stop paying for prison’s and get yourself some nice sin-tax money. Those kind of taxes don’t offend anyone, put another voting block into contention for you, and free up monies to suppress minorities in some other less obvious way that doesn’t stop people from getting their fix. You can go about it from the states rights angle as well. Seems like a good play to me.

    I might just be really tired and not making any sense though.

    • NonyNony says:

      If you drop the not too large prison-industrial complex voting bloc in favor of pandering to the youth pro-legalization voting block, you can stop paying for prison’s and get yourself some nice sin-tax money.

      Except that the conservative Evangelical, conservative Catholic, and conservative Mormon blocs will all kick the shit out of you, and you’re not going to keep the youth voting bloc if you continue to beat up minorities.

      The economic arguments for prison reform are good ones, but there’s no good way for Republicans to pivot to pro-legalization without losing their most active volunteers and voters. Which is why I always laugh at libertarians who do the political calculus and think that somehow voting Republican really will lead to legalization eventually.

  4. DocAmazing says:

    Though I didn’t read all the way through, suspicious li’l me can’t help but note that one of the most powerful unions (and lobbying groups) in California is the prison guards’ union (CCPOA). I’m sure that our friends on the right would be a little less poorly disposed to prisons if they weren’t union shops.

  5. witless chum says:

    Conservatives heard that butt sex happens inside them, so they’re bad.

    But, yeah, Scott’s right. Although it’s fair to try to be sure the gift horse isn’t going to bite you and try to solve the problem by privatizing everything.

  6. shah8 says:

    This article is disingenuous. I took one look at Colston’s entrance to the narrative and stopped reading. There is no such conservative war on prisons, this is mostly about refining conservative control over people, one way or another, both by religion and by newfangled high tech surveillance state. All of it mediated by a narrative that sez that only conservatives get input on how things change.

    Surprised Lemieux recommended this. Ain’t a ray of hope.

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