The prison-industrial state makes large profits from the incarceration of poor and minority people. The poor and unemployed can be turned into revenue producers by placing them in prison. Slavery laws do not apply to prisoners; they can be compelled to work for pennies/hour, less than workers in China or other third world countries. Many are confined in solitary which is defined worldwide as torture. Our prison population is the largest in world by percentage of population and in absolute numbers.
From Wages of Rebellion, The Moral Imperative of Revolt by Chris Hedges:
“As long as profit remains an incentive to incarcerate human beings and our corporate state abounds in superfluous labor, there is little chance that the prison system will be reformed. Our prisons serve the engine of corporate capitalism, transferring state money to private corporations. These corporations will continue to stymie rational prison reform because the system, however inhumane and unjust, feeds corporate bank accounts.”