Illinois prisons spy on prisoners, sue them for rent on their cells if they have any money

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Why not just make all people who enter the justice system liable for more money than there is in the world and be done with it?


This goes beyond cold-hearted, and rises to the level of actual evil.


Things like this would pretty much make me convinced that the modern purpose of the American Prison System is not punitive or rehabilitative or anything other than a means of making sure that the poor stay poor, subservient, and drained of any resources that might allow them to make something better of themselves (including the ability to vote to change the system…).

Oh, wait, I was already convinced of that.


The US prison system is strictly a moneymaking proposition, need evidence, it’s right there in black and white.


It is some crazy shit when the “A Receipt for Your Husband” scene in the film Brazil seems totally unrealistic because none of the kids got flashbanged.


I’m feeling stupid for not being able to work this out, but I should be able to make the article readable without blocking scripts.

$("#reg-overlay, .trb_bnn").remove()

trivially removes the overlay, but I can’t work out what’s preventing the body from scrolling, after removing all the obvious overflow: hidden etc. styles that are added.

(It does work fine when scripts are blocked, of course.)

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…and now that I’ve actually read the article, I am in no way closer to understanding how the hell this is legal.


It’s usually by action of law. Illinois probably puts laws on the books that allow them to recover these costs. It’s part of the whole nasty “due process” thing where as long as a court finds you guilty, there is no punishment in the world that is too much, because the eighth amendment is routinely ignored.


You pay taxes to the state to pay for the costs of operating the functions of the state, which includes prison systems. I guess I just don’t see what standing the state has in filing these suits. Have any actually made it to a court room? (Can’t seem to find the article on the worst newspaper web site I’ve ever encountered.)


It is indeed in the law — apparently Illinois added it to the books in the 80s — but that doesn’t necessarily make it legal… I’m not certain what constitutional argument there is against it, though, I agree. I think “cruel and unusual” wouldn’t fly.

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Right, but that’s it.That’s what we’ve got. The SCOTUS decided a while back that if you can dream it up and put it in a law book, it’s fine, because cruel and unusual is defined by society, and so anything a democratically elected legislative body can imagine is pretty much Kosher.

So the state wants to ensure ex-cons can’t afford to work in a legitimate job? I guess recidivism is more profitable than rehabilitation.


Chattel property slavery in its modern incarnation.


Except that the vast majority of the money that makes Corporate Clinks big business comes from tax-payers, so the Corrections Corporation of America charges people on the outside to jail poor people. Keeping them poor keeps them from getting their lives together, which drives them back into the clink so the CCA can keep siphoning off our taxes. And the best part for the prisons is that the CCA doesn’t even pay for this opportunistic litigation. The justice departments do, again with more of our tax dollars. Private prisons are vampires draining the economy, plain and simple.



I don’t disagree with you, but I was focusing on the use, by the state, of people as property. I don’t think it’s out of left field to acknowledge that the slavery system, once officially abolished, morphed directly into the current prison-industrial complex, in that it indentures minority/poor people, generating revenue from their enslavement/incarceration.

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I was mostly just pointing out how not only is it slavery, it produces almost nothing and drains vast resources. I agree with your basic statement that it’s slavery.


c’mon, that was a British dystopia!

Twas the ‘except’ that threw me off sah!

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That strikes me as the most damning thing:

“Hey Bob, how much cash we looking for this year?”
“'bout $1.5 billion!”
“Sorry, inmate, things don’t look good for you.”