The Common Good
August 2008

Beyond Apologies

by Jonathan Beachy | August 2008

In “It’s a Start” (June 2008), Donald Shriver Jr. rightly addresses the issue of slavery and the need to go beyond apologies. He refers to the “scandalously high number—about 38 percent” of prisoners who are African American. But he does not address the reality of slavery in that setting.

A simple Google search of “private prisons” will point out the huge profits, per head, that private prisons can and do make as they “hold” the overflows from government prisons. As a correctional health nurse, I was very troubled by the totally disproportionate numbers, based on the demographics of our city, of African Americans being “processed” in the screening area in which I worked. Many of these will then become a source of income for organizations that operate private prisons. Slavery? Undoubtedly. Who can and will address this aspect of going beyond apologies?

Jonathan Beachy

San Antonio, Texas

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