The Prison Plantation System
The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1865 officially abolished slavery. However, there is a crucial legal exception. Section 1 of the Amendment provides: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” In plain English, this simply means those behind bars have no constitutional rights and they can be forced to work as further punishment for their crimes. They earn, if you can even say that, little or no money. It’s a new form of slavery. The plantation system is tragically alive and well. Blacks, Latinx and Indigenous make up a disproportionate percentage of those incarcerated. Many of them were coerced into plea deals. In this program, Chris Hedges describes the effort of some prisoners to educate themselves. Recorded at The Sanctuary for Independent Media.
Chris Hedges is an award-winning journalist who has reported from the Balkans, the Middle East and Central America. Cornel West calls him, “The greatest radical writer and journalist of our generation.” He writes a weekly column for scheerpost.com and was host of On Contact on RT TV. He is the author of many books including American Fascists, Empire of Illusion, Death of the Liberal Class, Wages of Rebellion, America: The Farewell Tour and Our Class.