Ben McLeish - Prison, Punishment and Profit | Z-Day 2012 [ The Zeitgeist Movement ]





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Published on Apr 21, 2012

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"Visibility is a Trap." - Michel Foucault

The modern incarnation of the prison system is evaluated at its root value set, and core functions. Discussed are the origins of prison in torture and public spectacle, its inversion into modern incarceration models, and the morphing of the carceral model into one which reflects the dominant economic value system - profit before intended function, and its resulting violent social costs.

Additionally, prison's effects upon non-criminals (including guards) are detailed in order to demonstrate the system's wholly undermining effects upon social integrity, regardless of criminality.

The solution to crime is not more prisons, but the wholesale reorientation of society to a supportive, human-centered global citizenry, where the causes of crime are dealt with by the removal of stresses on the individual level, and the replacement of a competitive, divisive economic-social model with one of support, collaboration and rational, humane global village.

Main Sources:
Discipline & Punish - Michel Foucault
Violence - James Gilligan
Preventing Violence - James Gilligan
The Lucifer Effect - Dr Phillip Zimbardo
The Show of Violence - Dr Frederic Wertham
Zero Degrees of Empathy - Simon Baron-Cohen
The Spirit Level - Wilkinson and Pickett
Value Wars - John McMurtry (esp. Part II - Unlocking the Invisible Prison, pp 70-78)
Journal Articles:
Private Prison Management - Panacaea or Pretense? - Sarah Vallance
Prison's Dilemma: Do Education and Jobs Programmes Affect Recidivism? - Sedgley, Scott et al
The Psychopharmacologic Treatment of Violent Youth - Gilligan and Lee
The Last mental Hospital - Gilligan
Site Visit to Leoben Correctional Center, Austria


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