Here in the United States of America, we like to "privatize" things.
The short definition of this phenomenon is that services usually provided by the State - public roads, public schools, and, unfortunately, prisons - are increasingly being farmed out to for-profit corporations, who "can do the job more efficiently."
Whether this is actually true is up for debate, but in at least some cases - perhaps most notably schools and prisons, those great institutional workhouses of ideology - "efficient" generally means "worse for human beings."
Two companies in particular, the amusingly sinister-sounding (and genuinely terrifying) Corrections Corporation of America ...
...and the more placidly named GEO Group, are the heavy hitters in the incarceration game.
The investors in these cutting edge experiments in human degradation and the commodification of suffering include Wells Fargo, Fidelity, General Electric, the usual gang.
A sizable coalition has emerged to encourage these investors to divest from - that is, remove their financial backing from - these companies, who in no uncertain terms profit directly from the poor treatment and dehumanization of incarcerated persons, including many immigrants and other political prisoners.
Here in Salt Lake City, we hate injustice, but gosh darn it, we love a party.
Tonight, Rock the Jailhouse is going down! What is Rock the Jailhouse, you ask?
Rock the Jailhouse is a benefit concert for the Salt Lake City Prison Divestment Campaign. Featuring live bands including Know Ur Roots, playing a reggae tribute to Bob Marley, Los Cafres (from Argentina), Gondwana (from Chile), Wasnatch, and Enemy Octopus! Bring a donation between $5 and $15 - the event will feature a vegan bake sale, drinks, a raffle, and more!
Rock the Jailhouse starts at 7:30 PM tonight at Centro Civico Mexicano, located at 155 South 600 West in Salt Lake City. Come and bring a friend!