I have met some intelligent guys in here who become obsessed with the idea of the corruption of DOC, the problems in the justice system, and the supposed slavery of the modern prison industrial complex. Now, look, there are problems in the justice system; there are stiffer penalties for black men than for whites, there are ludicrously long sentences for drugs, there are three-strike laws and mandatory minimums. But the corruption is no different from any other government agency, people making a profit selling products to prisons is not necessarily a bad thing (someone has to do it, and I would rather see it motivated by the profit margin than political whims), and to equate the warehousing of prisoners with slavery is an insult to the people who suffered under actual slavery.
And more to the point, I’m far more concerned with what we as individual prisoners can do to better our lives, make better decisions, reform our criminal ways of thinking. A huge injustice that these guys often miss is pretending that the system is unfair to them and that’s the totality of their life’s problems. It’s not: in fact, it’s generally not even a small part. We have to look to our own lives, as individuals, first.