Currently, New Mexico politicians and right-wing media are running a “Boomerang Thugs” campaign to get lawmakers to pass laws that incarcerate large numbers of New Mexicans for much longer periods of time, even for petty crimes. One television station in particular is especially offensive and unprofessional: KOB.tv. They campaign extremely hard, leading off their nightly news casts with a parade of mugshots on a frequent basis.
What would cause the major media to take it upon itself to act so harshly and inhumanely for the purpose of locking as many people up as possible? Money, in the form of campaign donations to Republican politicians, multi-millions in salaries to the private prison industry execs, and slave labor by farming out prisoners to work extremely cheap for local industries. All generously paid for with our tax dollars. These media amateurs are so unprofessional and obsessed with the campaign that they forget the number one rule of good journalism: get the other side of the story, too. There are lots of community organizers, researchers, and academics who would be happy to tell them — on the air — how the private prison industry is big business with fascist tendencies, wanting to pressure government to incarcerate young people for small amounts of marijuana and to include shoplifting even just a $20 food item as a third strike that requires a life sentence. The greed, ostracizing, and punishment mentality that they wish for all of us to have only ruins the lives of many young people who enter the system on petty offenses. Once in the system, many — as a result of this automatic, extended, and continuous punishment — are ruined, and may never be able to experience the rewards of a job, for the rest of their lives.
And while the state is nationally in the gutter in education ratings and child welfare, we don’t see them rallying for boosting the budgets of our schools and community service organizations, the systems that help our young people to avoid risk behaviors in the first place. These prison pushers really make us sick.
For more information, we’d suggest the following articles:
New Mexico Grows Its Prison Industry | Jemez Daily Post
The Prison Industry in the United States: Big Business or a New Form of Slavery?
New Mexico Has Little-Known For-Profit Prison for Immigrants; ACLU Investigation of Such Prisons Reveals Abuse, Inhumane Conditions
24 Astounding Facts About the Private Prison Industry
Let’s say NO to bad journalism that promotes mass incarceration of our citizens, especially our youth. Enough is enough.