Here is today's quiz about capitalism: if y0u are in the prison-running business and you want to make a profit, do you:

a) staff the prison with as few people as possible (to save money on wages)

b) provide prisoners with plastic bags instead of toilets (to save money on expenses associated with water, plumbing, and whatnot)

c) refuse to give prisoners prescribed medication (to save money on expenses associated with adequate medical care)

d) lock mentally ill patients in solitary confinement instead of providing them with mental health care (to save money on expenses associated with adequate mental health care)

e) all of the above.

If you guessed "all of the above" you win the prize, you win the prize! Who would have guessed that the for-profit prison model articulates so well with depriving prisoners of humane conditions? A shocking twist indeed!

From the Southern Poverty Law Center, which filed a federal lawsuit yesterday on behalf of prisoners at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility:

[The prison is] a filthy, dangerous facility “operating in a perpetual state of crisis” where prisoners are at “grave risk of death and loss of limbs” and often resort to setting fires to receive medical attention.

They also have to crap in plastic bags if they want to use the toilet and do not always have a functioning lightbulb or a lamp in their cells. On the plus side, however, pets are allowed, so it's kind of a win-some, lose-some situation.

The lawsuit describes a facility where prisoners are often locked in filthy cells and ignored even when they are suffering from serious medical issues. Many cells lack light and working toilets, forcing prisoners to use trays or plastic bags that are tossed through slots in their cell doors. Rats often climb over prisoners’ beds. Some prisoners even capture the rats, put them on makeshift leashes and sell them as pets to other prisoners.

Whatever, who cares about prisoners, they are only home to roughly 1 out of every 32 Americans, so whatever. Also, if you don't want to go to prison, don't steal a pair of socks or a slice of pizza or a rack of ribs, duh.

Also, try not to be mentally ill.



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