By John Vibes
Food Services of America, a subsidiary of Services Group of America is funding efforts to keep marijuana illegal. It makes sense, considering that a vast majority of America’s prisoners are locked in prison on marijuana charges, and the company stands to gain a lot of business from the laws staying the same.
Services Group of America has been criticized in the past for providing food to prisons that failed to meet basic nutritional requirements.
The report also indicated that the Arizona state Chamber of Commerce contributed $498,000 to the same campaign week. The effort also received a half million dollar donation from opioid maker Insys Therapeutics as well as sizeable contributions from various players in the alcohol industry.
The influence that the alcohol and pharmaceutical industries have on keeping marijuana illegal has been well documented, but the influence of prison contractors is rarely discussed.
The prison industry is one of the fastest growing and top-earning businesses in the United States. In the past three decades, this enterprise has grown into a monstrous system of oppression that now houses over 2 and a half million people in the US. This number is, by far, the largest prison population in the world. No country on earth has as many inmates as the “land of the free.”
Ironic isn’t it? Since 1991 the violent crime rate in America has dropped at least 20%, while the amount of people in prison has increased by 50% in that time. These numbers show that the rapid growth in the prison population is primarily due to over prosecution of nonviolent crimes.
This has nothing to do with “cleaning up the streets” or making our society safer — it is all about money and control. The prison system as it stands now does not make our society any safer but instead turns average nonviolent offenders into hardened criminals by exposing them to such a harsh environment.
The sad truth is that the way our prison system has been structured has actually outlawed more than half of the US population. Nonviolent offenders have no place behind bars. The savage conditions of prison will turn most people into violent offenders once they get out. Which is exactly what the prison establishment wants – return customers.
This establishment is the collection of state and quasi-state/private industries that make up the “prison industrial complex.” Billions of dollars are made every year in this industry. One company, Wackenhut Corrections, makes over a billion dollars a year and they aren’t even the biggest prison service in the country.
These numbers also don’t take into consideration the many satellite businesses that surround this industry. There are over 1,000 vendors that specifically sell correctional paraphernalia. Even local phone companies cash in on the operation. The companies install payphones for free because those phones can generate $15,000 per year from each inmate making a phone call every day.
Those companies are just the tip of the iceberg. That isn’t even counting the police, lawyers, wardens, politicians and food distributors that line their pockets through the incarceration of peaceful Americans.
All of these organizations have a distinct interest in keeping nonviolent people in jail. So, it should come as no surprise a prison contractor is working to keep marijuana illegal.