Today, I’m going to be talking about the court system. My name is Don Brown, 468895 and I’m calling from Ohio. In America, over 95% of all convictions are acquired by plea bargains. The public defenders that handle these have no incentive to win the cases since they’re getting paid the same whether they win or lose. Therefore the courts will- will overcharge and over-indict people with more cases and more severe felonies to make plea bargains almost guaranteed.
America spends $182 billion a year on prisons alone. In 1960, the prison population was 212,953. In 2020, the person population has a staggering 2.12 million. If we were actually concerned about rehabilitation, we would make sure to teach trades to these people that can be used when they’re released. Yes, it costs money from the public. But in the long run, it would save billions as the recidivism rates would plummet and the overall prison population would plummet.
Inmates working a minimum of 32 hours a week, that’s 208 hours a month, only make $18 a month. That’s not enough for basic necessities, such as toothpaste, soap, deodorant. $5 to call- to call a family, bring them stamps and the paper to write letters on. In every prison in Ohio, it’s like this.
There are good-paying jobs, such as making license plates at a Lebanon prison, which only 60 people out of 2,500 work. These pay between $45 and $100 a month for making license plates, every license plate in the state of Ohio. If a company on the streets did this, they would pay each worker a minimum of $20 an hour. The Thirteenth Amendment speaks for itself and legalized slavery is alive and doing well.
My name is Don Brown, 468895, and I’m calling from Ohio. Thank you.
(Sound of a cell door closing.) These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.