The responsibility of the penal system is to guide the rehabilitation of incarcerated people so that, with the help of families, neighbors, and social service agencies, they can renew their place in the community. The existence of a “prison-industrial complex” in our country is a fundamental violation of the social purpose of the prison system in a democratic society. As for the operation of U.S. prisons in other countries, this is an affront to the sovereignty of such countries and a disgrace to our own. All such institutions should be permanently closed as a matter of public policy, and the penal system should be redesigned to carry out its social purpose.
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