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Monday, July 22, 2013

Welcome to the Jail Machine


courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
"Remember those in prison as if you were together with them in bonds, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering." 
                                 - Hebrews 13:3

I have long had deep concerns about conditions at our local jail and in state prisons, a concern shared by our singer-songwriter son Brad, who wrote the following hard-hitting piece in 2006:

Jail Machine

hey, hey, welcome to the jail machine,
there is money to be made in this lock-up game,
everyone’s a winner when the streets are clean,
if the system gets you, you’ve just got yourself to blame
let me tell you, mister, it’s a field of dreams
if we build’em, we can fill’em till they burst their seams..
& life is so much better when the streets are clean,
welcome to the jail machine…
every desperate junkie out there forging checks
gets the same 3 strikes the killer or the rapist gets,
I’m just happy I don’t have to use that stuff,
when my doctor hooked me up my lawyer got me off,
& if the state’s a baby, I’m a candy thief,
buildin’ cheap hotels is easy when the guests can’t leave..
& I’m gettin’ paid to do it like you won’t believe,
welcome to the jail, welcome to the jail machine..
mandatory sentencing creates a need,
we add a touch of human greed,
and now you’ve got a business plan
that college might be cheaper than,
but people get what they deserve,
the over and the under-served,
both rich and poor get exactly what they pay for..
smokin’ there in bed after the money’s spent
lay a lobbyist, a business- and a congressman,
“that was good for me, boys, was it good for you?
let’s build another prison sometime very soon,”
let me tell you, brother, it’s a brilliant scheme
first we build’em, then we fill’em till they burst their seams
and everyone’s a winner when the streets are clean,
(welcome to the jail, welcome to the jail..)
lock up all the sinners who don’t look like me,
(welcome to the jail, welcome to the jail..)
I feel so much braver knowing you’re less free,
welcome to the jail, welcome to the jail,
welcome to the jail machine…



You can click on this link for Brad's music website, and this one for numerous previous posts on criminal justice and prison reform. 
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