Last week on the Acton PowerBlog, Anthony Bradley raised the issue of the war on men, specifically the high rate of imprisonment among men in the United States. At one point in time, America acknowledged that prison might be a place of rehabilitation rather than simply the warehousing of criminals (read Ray Nothstine’s work on Angola Prison to see that rehabilitation in prison is possible.)
Catholic blogger Mark Shea interprets the high rate of imprisonment as a sign of the de-Christianization of our culture: we’ve de-valued life, and slavery becomes acceptable. The infographic below shows that prison – no longer rehabilitative and no longer warehousing – is profitable. Prisoners are cheap labor and big business. Rather than tending to criminals, visiting the imprisoned and helping men and women who’ve committed crimes become better people, we’re using them. It might be a money-maker, but is it just?