(FreshAsFrankie) With books like The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander and films such as Ava Duvernay’s The 13th, mass incarceration has been situated as a continuation of American slavery. Louisiana is one of the states that have the highest incarcerated population, especially among African Americans and after Louisiana Sheriff Steve Prator spoke during a press conference about the release of inmates made the connection all the more apparent.
Prator spoke to the press with a number of Black officers behind him by the way, about the value that prisoners brought to the state and state corrections facilities. According to Prator, the prisoners that work are the ones that essentially keep the doors open but unfortunate for him, those are the same prisoners that are eventually released. He stated that they’re [State parole boards] are releasing the “good ones that we use every day to wash cars, and change the oil in our cars, to cook in the kitchens. To do all that we save money.”
The sheriff also addressed Louisiana’s status as the nation’s leading incarcerator by stating that “someone’s gotta be number one,” adding that his state has “some bad dudes.” Prator’s comments have caused an uproar from many people throughout the social media sphere citing the sheriff’s insensitivity toward the systemic legacy of mass incarceration and the sentiments of slavery his comments evoked.
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Source: The Root