I'm really surprised that there apparently isn't a "not made with prison labor" symbol for products, verified by a third-party group similar to the Non-GMO Project or the Vegan Society
When Americans buy products that say "Made in the USA" they expect the money to go into supporting local, well-paying jobs, not fueling private prisons who utilize slave labor. This is the desire regardless of political alignment. People need the ability to make an informed decision
@socalledunitedstates i'm guessing because nobody has made the consideration before and a lot of people don't buy enough american products to even notice in the first place
still, probably something leftists should take up
@alyaza It'd also be easy to get the backing and participation of American businesses who don't use prison labor, since it'd make their products sell better
I'd really like to get this idea in front of someone who can do something about it. Maybe start by contacting prisoner advocacy groups like the Black Cross, IWOC, and Revolutionary Abolitionists?
@socalledunitedstates @alyaza this is an extremely good idea imo, and i think those groups'd be good starting points - and if nothing else they'd have broader contacts for you? (i'd say like, the DSA labor WG or the IWW more generally, or .. hm .. trying to think of not explicitly socialist but still friendly groups tbh bc there's prob potential there but idk with whomst)
Prison labor & Medicaid
In some cases, being informed wouldn't necessarily allow a choice. For instance, in my state all eyeglasses paid for by Medicaid benefits are made by prison labor.
I was aware & have been able to pay out of pocket for glasses instead, but that isn't in reach for many on Medicaid.
I do try to tell people (in a neutral way) since it's not at all transparent. I had to dig to figure it out.
Instead of trying to end prison labor, why not fight for prisoners to get fair pay? Many prisoners prefer having a job as it breaks up the monotony of doing time and also gives a sense of purpose to some. Unfortunately, they don't make much. I think they should be paid at least minimum wage and then have the option of using their earnings for commissary or bank it until release.
@fewl The endgoal is to end prisons altogether
That's quite a lofty goal...do you really think it's achievable in our lifetime? You are trying to change something that is foundational to the US criminal justice system. If you work in smaller increments, fair pay, shift from punishment to rehabilitation, then you're paving the way to eventually attack the infrastructure of the prison system.
@fewl Prison abolition has been a very popular idea in the past, so much so that people thought it'd happen - before the criminalization of marijuana and the mass incarceration of black Americans
The confusion in your messages tells me you don't know enough about anarchism to grasp what I'm aiming for, so rather than trying to explain every point one by one at work I'm gonna suggest you do your own reading. Anarchy Works is a good place to start, this link leads directly to the chapter on crime but feel free to go back to the beginning:
Sunbeam City is a Libertarian Socialist solarpunk instance. It is ran democratically by a cooperative of like-minded individuals.