The letter (see below link) from Ray Jasper -- an inmate on death row scheduled to be executed on March 13th -- is one of the most scathing critiques of our judicial system and how it impacts the lives of people of color.
"You can go to any penitentiary in this nation and you will see slavery."
The stark and dehumanizing similarities between the American penal system and the American plantation system is daunting in the most perverted manner. In fact, it is accurate to declare: "our prison system is the new system of slavery."
As Ellen Barry, founding director of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (LSPC), stated:
"The prison system in this country is essentially the new plantation," she said. "It is the new system of slavery that functions to ... make it impossible for people who are within that system to take a normalized, functional role in society once they leave the prison."
Restrictions on housing, obtaining licenses, employment and education are just some of the obstacles facing former prisoners. source
I do not know the specifics of Ray Jasper's criminal past; and, agreed, death row inmates convicted of murder are not sympathetic figures: Yet in still, the cultural ramifications of his letter can not and should not be dismissed or ignored.
Please read: A letter from Ray Jasper.