Johnny Privilege

Johnny Privilege

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A massive hunger strike is underway in California’s prison system. Inmates are protesting its Kafkaesque solitary confinement rules and other conditions that the Supreme Court and the federal government have deemed cruel and unusual. Governor Jerry Brown continues to insist that everything’s fine and refuses to implement any changes.

California’s prisons may be the worst, but the entire country is prison-crazy. And who gets sent to one depends largely on race and income. The War on Drugs has failed and has given the US the largest incarceration rate in the world. It’s easy to write off inmates as a bunch of bad guys, but most are victims of circumstance. And even if you believe they all deserve to be there, there are others more deserving of rotting in a prison cell.

And I can’t mention Jerry Brown without listening to this still-relevant Dead Kennedys song.