Despite the surging growth of the prison industrial complex, very little is known of what goes on inside prisons and jails aside from what is shared with us by the people who have actually done time or worked in them. Photographer Jamel Shabazz worked as a Corrections Officer for the New York City Department of Corrections. He joined the force in 1983, just as the crack epidemic hit the streets, and worked inside the belly of the beast for 20 years. Shabazz spoke with Crave about the complexities of life inside the prison industrial complex.
Miss Rosen: Why do you think this subject is kept, for the larger part, out of the mainstream media? Why is it important to you to speak about your experience as an NYC corrections officer?
Jamel Shabazz I think that the mainstream media has been mute for far too long on this issue primarily because, the overwhelming majority of those who are incarcerated are young black and Hispanic males. It is a known fact that the prison industrial complex is a multi-billion dollar corporation and Wall Street investors have gained great returns in their ventures regarding prisons. In all actuality, numerous businesses and organizations have profited from mass incarceration. As a witness to this, I feel the need to offer a different perspective about the system, as all too often Correction Officers are viewed in a negative light.
Read the Full Story at Crave Online