Dialectical Anthropology

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 563–570 | Cite as

A strategy to end parole dependency



This article explores the moral, political, economic and philosophical reasons for the expansion of the prisoner re-entry industry in the United States over the last several years. Tracing the influence of the military-industrial-prison complex and its mindset of “crackpot-cynical” realism rooted in a fear-based model of human nature, it argues that the very system and policies set up to control the “problem” of crime has led to an exacerbation of it, creating an ever-expanding, permanent “industry” that has traumatized both ‘ruler and ruled’ in a never-ending cycle of pain, mistrust, moral numbness and dysfunctional dependency. The article attempts to unite political and spiritual progressives and begin the mobilization necessary for radical structural and moral changes harkening back to the dissensus politics and ‘spiritual toughness’ of the civil rights and welfare rights tradition of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.


Military-industrial-prison complex Dissensus politics Richard Cloward and Frances Fox-Piven Spiritual progressives Rabbi Michael Lerner Professor Cornel West Prisoner re-entry industry 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.John Jay College, City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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