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By: Daniel J. Simms, Imprisoned Author/Podcast Host/Reformist

It is a vicious cycle. As "high Incarceration affects communities as well. Disadvantaged communities are more likely to send more persons to prison, increasing their likelihood of becoming more troubled in the future. The combination of poverty, unemployment, family disruption, and racial isolation is bound up with high levels of incarceration even when adjusting for the rate of crime that a community experiences." By Robert J. Sampson and Charles Loeffler. Punishment's Place: The Local Concentration of Mass Incarceration. Daedalus, Summer (2010). Over policing and over incarcerating our people leads to worse economic and business development in those communities. It diverts valuable labor to horrible prison plantations. And it undercuts innovation through brain drain. Sure that community member may be selling drugs on the corner today but tomorrow he could be selling airplanes at Boeings. If only he, or she, was invested in. Imprisoning Communities: How Mass Incarceration Makes Disadvantaged Communities Worse. By Todd R. Clear. (2007). The evidence is clear we must strive for radical prison reform.

The trauma to prison pipeline, similar to the school to prison pipeline, can easily entrap any American if unaware. It does not matter your socioeconomic status, your upbringing, your geographical location, or your past. If you experience severe trauma your mind may rewire synapses so they do not fire properly. This leads to diagnoses such as, inter alia, post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety thought disorder, depressive thought disorder, and substance use disorder. As you can imagine some of the largest new population segments being incarcerated is Veterans. Yep. They fight for our country patriotically, they experience severe traumas while in service for our Nation, and when they come back their traumas are criminalized. They are a whopping two percent of the population of mass incarceration. At 24,000 Veterans across the country arrested, imprisoned, jailed, or on some form of probation. Largely due to their mental health disorders. Sexual, physical, emotional, mental, and domestic abuse victims are disproportionately represented in mass incarceration as well. Mental health disorders look and manifest in the form of criminal activity. Assaults, robberies, drugs, and thefts. But the root causes are trauma. They belong in hospitals to be treated. Not prisons. From Hospitals to Prisons: A New Explanation. By Frederick E. Vars and Shelby B. Calambokidis. 102 Cornell L. Rev. Online 101, 103-104 (2017). The statistics are sadly incontrovertible. Our prisons are full of those with mental health issues. And they will continue to be unless there is reform. Why Prisons are Brim Full of the Mentally Ill: Is Their Incarceration a Solution or a Sign of Failure. Paul F. Stavis. 11 Geo Mason U. Civ. Rts. L.J. 157, 157-58 (2000). The vast sums of taxpayer's money being squandered subsidizing mass slavery is incompatible with the best interests of our people. "The U.S. spends approximately 82 Billion yearly on prisons, jails, probation, and parole." Following the Money of Mass Incarceration. By Peter Wagner. Prison Policy Initiative.(Jan. 25, 2017). We could be using that 82 billion to better our people with treatment and career centers. Rather than the current failed corrupt mass incarceration system. We have to organize.

Much like the aforementioned, the foster child to prison pipeline, hits quite close to home. As a foster child myself which I share in my book, Hopeless in Seattle: A Fosterkid's Manifesto, I can uniquely identify and discuss this epidemic. The foster child to prison pipeline works so effectively and efficiently that as high as ninety percent of foster children end up arrested, imprisoned, jailed, or on some form of probation. I can expertly explain how quickly and seamlessly foster children go from members of society to institutionalized inmates. Instead of loving parents addressing and disciplining their troubled child. Foster children are housed in group homes or foster homes with guardians or group home staff that are largely unattached to the foster child. They quickly call and file charges with law enforcement for everything. Assault. Theft. Outbursts. Etc. Which results in juvenile institutions and ultimately imprisonment. "A pipeline feeds youth in fostercare and juvenile justice facilities into the adult criminal justice system." In re Dependency of Q.S., 22, Wn. App. 2d. 586. The madness of prepping our most vulnerable children to become prisoner slaves is repulsive to me and it should be to you as well.

The effectiveness of the aforementioned does not only affect those it initially incarcerated. Nope. There is children-of-the- incarcerated-to-prison-pipeline! Yep. Intergenerational enslavement. Fathers are reuniting with sons and daughters with Mothers inside prison walls. It is sad, immoral, and unethical. "The trauma a child experiences when his or her parent is imprisoned can delay a child's emotional and mental development and lead to long lasting mental health issues." By Jeremy Davis, et al. eds. (2014) Mass intergenerational incarceration of families leads to long lasting detrimental affects to their wider families and communities as well. Children of the Prison Boom: Mass Incarceration and the Future of American Inequality. By Sarah Wakefield and Christopher Wildeman. [**11], B.C.L. Rev. We can predict with certainty that children of the incarcerated are highly likely to follow their parents into criminal activity. If we know that then why is there not any robust incarceration prevention programs? Maybe because the government wants them too follow their parents.

Continued in part 4

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