I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Barless Cages

Came across a very disturbing piece on "barless prisons" today, on ASU's website. In fact it was the first thing to pop up in a search for "prison" on there. It was apparently posted in 2007 so maybe this is old news to most. I think I remember it figuring into the plot of a Schwarzenegger movie or something.

Technology has been developed that will allow prisoners to be implanted with drug "cages", which release certain drugs by radio signal - including a lethal dose of narcotics if so programmed - if they cross a specified perimeter. Thus, large populations can be remote-controlled by inflicting increasing levels of physical distress up to and including death on them. Additionally, profit from prison labor can be maximized because it is "unencumbered by restraints or monitoring devices."

That's like having a bomb implanted in your head, set to detonate if you leave your workstation without permission.

The vision then, for this technology, isn't for improving public safety, reducing imprisonment or recidivism, helping facilitate community service instead of prison, etc. The vision is mass population control and the maximum exploitation of an enslaved workforce, whose formation is in large part a consequence of capitalism and institutionalized racism.

I'm not so sure this is progress.

I hope ASU isn't still invested in or promoting this technology. As of the time of the posting, it was being promoted by "NanoCage" and "United Penitentiary Systems", and featured on ASU's Center for Nanotechnology in Society site, which receives funding for research from the National Science Foundation.

The only references I find on a Google search for those two companies, by the way, lead to press releases: the companies don't appear to exist, otherwise, in cyberspace, which is hard to believe. I suspect they were Defense Department fronts, and the story was released in a controlled fashion to gauge our response. I apparently wasn't paying attention or I would have responded.

The following link is a pdf report from the National Citizens' Technology Forum: Nanotechnologies and Human Enhancement, convened so the feds can say they got "informed public input" before proceeding. Now the project appears to be underground.

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