US reintroduces slavery through prisons

Is Prison Obsolete runs at Brisbane's Royal on the Park from Wednesday 19th
Is Prison Obsolete runs at Brisbane’s Royal on the Park from Wednesday 19th

150 years since the abolition of slavery the practice has moved from the farms of the USA to the prisons, according to new documentary Locked Up: in the Land of the Free.

The prison population is now 7 times larger than it was in 1970 and 40% of the prisoners in the US are African-American. You are six times more likely to be locked up as a black man than anyone else.

The 8th “Is Prison Obsolete” conference takes place in Brisbane today, tomorrow and Friday. US activist Angela Davis is keynote speaker at the conference organised by Sisters Inside andĀ held at the Royal on the Park.

Mass incarceration in the US is the new form of slavery targeting Black people.

The US prison population rose from 357,000 in 1970 to 2.3 million in 2014, the documentary notes. While Black men account for some 6.6% of the US population, they currently make up 40.2% of the prison population.

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