Tag Archives: prisons

How “Real” Is “Orange Is The New Black”? Comparing The Show To The Memoir To The Numbers

How “Real” Is “Orange Is The New Black”? Comparing The Show To The Memoir To The Numbers

“The privatized prison system benefits prison-building corporations, the companies who facilitate the expensive phone services and the manufacturers of commissary goods — but it also greatly benefits companies who “employ” prisoners to boost their bottom line. UNICOR, for example, “employs” more than 3,000 prisoners starting at 23 cents an hour manufacturing electronic equipment, most of which is for the Department of Defense. UNICOR made over $900 million in revenue last year. In Danbury, Kerman writes, the FCI inmates worked in a UNICOR warehouse making military radio components for a dollar an hour. In Danbury, inmates needed a GED to earn over 14 cents an hour, and a GED program was offered within the prison.

The facilitation and purpose of “work assignments” varies widely from institution to institution — some claim work assignments will give you valuable skills for the real world, others aim to keep the institution going on the cheap, most serve to simply keep inmates busy during the day, and many are essentially a legal form of slave labor.

The show and the memoir are consistent with their portrayal of the work program at Danbury, from the toxic mold preventing Piper from doing the education program to her eventual assignment of electrical.

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When Black Kids Want to Learn and the World Tells Them ‘No’

When Black Kids Want to Learn and the World Tells Them ‘No’

“In light of the recent news out of Chicago, I think we should take another look at first lady Michelle Obama’s remarks from her commencement address at Bowie State University. Particularly this part:

But today, more than 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, more than 50 years after the end of ‘separate but equal,’ when it comes to getting an education, too many of our young people just can’t be bothered. Today, instead of walking miles every day to school, they’re sitting on couches for hours playing video games, watching TV. Instead of dreaming of being a teacher or a lawyer or a business leader, they’re fantasizing about being a baller or a rapper.

I hope the first lady has seen this video of 9-year-old Asean Johnson, on the eve of Chicago’s Board of Education vote to close fifty schools, telling a crowd of protesters, ‘You should be investing in these schools, not closing them. You should be supporting these schools, not closing them.’ He wasn’t alone and this wasn’t the first demonstration. Young black people were out in the streets fighting for their right to an education and they were ignored.”

Read more: When Black Kids Want to Learn and the World Tells Them ‘No’ | The Nation http://www.thenation.com/blog/174536/when-black-kids-want-learn-and-world-tells-them-no#ixzz2WJAyjIwe 
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