The prison industrial complex is a system similar to slavery, in which money is made by the exploitation and oppression of people that are of middle and lower class communities, especially African Americans. The prison Industrial complex is in short, everything that has to do with the prison system. Included in the prison industrial complex are private jails, state jails, the way jails make money, outside companies that make money off jails such as food companies, companies that make furniture for jails, prison guards, and other resources prisons need are all part of the prison industrial complex. .
The prison industrial complex is a multi-billion dollar industry; similar to what the slave industry would have been had it still existed today. The prison industrial complex can legalize discrimination when people who go to jail are labeled “felons for life." Most of these people labeled “felons for life” are African American, and are being put in jail mostly on drug possession laws but not selling. Minor crimes are now ruining the lives of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of African Americans. .
After someone is labeled a felon, they lose rights to public housing, and it gets really hard for them to find jobs, which is why according to Michelle Alexander, seventy percent of the people who go to jail are right back inside within three months. (78) The prison industrial complex is a new term for slavery, because many companies make millions of dollars daily off having jails so populated and the more populated jails get, the bigger their pockets become. By examining many sources such as Michelle Alexander's “The New Jim Crow” I will be able to compare the system of slavery, which “ended” over one hundred years ago, to the very similar system of mass incarceration that goes on today.
Prisons make their money by keeping them populated, and with disenfranchisement laws it makes it very easy to put African Americans in jail.