Survivors Guide To Prison

Documentary appraisal, with analysis and conclusion on how it relates to modern life for most people.

The documentary, “Survivor’s guide to prison”, shows the main problems of profit driven prisons.

It is available at charge from Youtube, or for free on RT (At least it is right now in UK).

I won’t provide a link to the latter, in the interests of preserving all possibilities of this story being read.

The documentary gives an incisive view how the prison system in the US works.

The prisons in US are profit driven.

The prisons in UK are also becoming profit driven, as has to happen, in the system of all things for profit.

Some notable points from the documentary:

  • There are more prisons in US than colleges and universities, holding more people than in the further education establishment.
  • It is a multi-billion industry with the main mode of business to supply cheap labour to industry.
  • Prisoners work for very low pay.
  • Sixty percent of prisoners are black, despite being only a small percentage of the US population.
  • Nearly one in four black men experience prison at some time in their lives.
  • Prison, can result from first offences involving drugs, including first time recreational consumption.
  • Falsely obtained confessions leading to prison are very common.
  • Racism, in all of its recognised forms, with segregation according to distinct “Gangs” for categories including black, latino, and white, are fully present in prison. Inmates have no choice but to join the appropriate category, for personal safety.


I personally remember a few events in life which are very relevant to this discussion.

One day I will maybe talk more about all of them, but for now there is only one that matters, I think.

Around the time of starting work in my first job as a newly qualified hardware Engineer, in 1998, I remember watching a documentary, most likely on BBC, about how the prisons in China exploited inmates for cheap labour, often even seeking out appropriately experienced people to apprehend and add into the prison workforce, using false criminal charges.

That was the justification given for the reason we saw incredibly cheap, reasonable quality products, especially Engineered products, coming from China at that time. Things like workshop chain-winches, and other heavy engineering tools, for example, whilst those things were still very expensive in our domestic market.

Obviously, now the boot is on the other foot.

And we don’t like to talk about it.

Isn’t it interesting that I can’t find sight, nor hair, of that documentary watched all those years ago?


An earlier Medium story seems particularly relevant:

There, we see how caged mice eventually end up eating one another, in the absence of any external source of food.

Everything is just fine in the cage with an abundance of food.

When the food gets scarce, fighting and squabbling begins, which progresses to them literally eating one another, ending with a single survivor, which will also expire in the end.

In the case of the mice in the story, I was the one with single responsibility, solely to blame for their demise, which I much regret.

In the case of humans, our essential food, our nutrient, is energy, which is very closely associated with wealth. Each readily converts to the other.

And in the case of humans in the face of personal adversity, in any caged environment, we start to gang together, creating tribes according to things like race, gender, age, nationality, religion, etc.

Just like gangs in the street, assembling according to ghetto neighborhoods, and race, for example.

Prison is just another ghetto, a larger version of caged mice.

Just as Earth, caged by our economic system.

All of the smaller cages on Earth, are driven by that, the biggest cage of all.

The basic need to seek profit.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

It can’t, if we are to avoid ending up like the mice in the cage.

The external nutrient source that supplied everything we have in the cage of Earth is still there, and it is still delivering its nutrient, but we do not take it, or ask for it, at least significantly. It still only supplies a small percentage of the energy we consume, from the stores in the cage.

Breaking the cage on Earth involves using what we still have left, to build the infrastructure needed, to take up all that we need for the future, feeding directly from that source, the sun.

By that, humanity will finally be free of the cage, to move onto much bigger and better things.




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Frederick Bott

Frederick Bott


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