Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Waste (Mis)Management

Your jurisrpude has somewhat provocatively referred to contemporary American prisons as based on a "waste management" model of incarcerating those state policies define as toxic. Academic ranting, perhaps, but consider this section from the Governor's recent emergency proclamation on California Prisons.

WHEREAS, the current severe overcrowding in these 29 prisons has also overwhelmed the electrical systems and/or wastewater/sewer systems, because those systems are now often required to operate at or above the maximum intended capacity, resulting in an increased, substantial risk to the health and safety of CDCR staff, inmates, and the public, because:

Overloading the prison electrical systems has resulted in power failures and blackouts within the prisons, creating increased security threats. It has also damaged fuses and transformers.
Overloading the prison sewage and wastewater systems has resulted in the discharge of waste beyond treatment capacity, resulting in thousands of gallons of sewage spills and environmental contamination.

And when the prisons “overdischarge” waste, bacteria can contaminate the drinking water supply, putting the public’s health at an increased, substantial risk.
Those prisoners identified by the proclamation as the primary subjects for transfer might also be thought of as "waste" i.e., those that the state is most anxious to expell, including non-citizen prisoners, especially those subject to deportation following their prison sentences.

Read the Governor's proclamation.


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