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The Arrest Metronome

from Audio Essays and Narrations by RJ Walker

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CW: Police Violence, Mass Incarceration

The Arrest Metronome: Sources and Bibliography

Written and performed by RJ Walker

Information Sources:

Peeples, L. (2020, June 19). What the data say about police brutality and racial bias - and which reforms might work. Retrieved from www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01846-z

Vera Institute. (2020, July 09). Retrieved from www.vera.org/publications/arrest-trends-every-three-seconds-landing/arrest-trends-every-three-seconds/overview

Highest to Lowest - Prison Population Rate. (n.d.). Retrieved from www.prisonstudies.org/highest-to-lowest/prison_population_rate?field_region_taxonomy_tid=All

Basti, K. G. (2018, August 02). Capitalizing on Mass Incarceration: U.S. Growth in Private Prisons. Retrieved from www.sentencingproject.org/publications/capitalizing-on-mass-incarceration-u-s-growth-in-private-prisons/

Mapping Police Violence. (n.d.). Retrieved from mappingpoliceviolence.org

“Policing The Police.” Films On Demand, Films Media Group, 2016, fod.infobase.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?wID=102595&xtid=151237. Accessed 1 July 2020.
“Moyers & Company: Incarceration Nation.” Films On Demand, Films Media Group, 2013, fod.infobase.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?wID=102595&xtid=56315. Accessed 10 July 2020.


The Arrest Metronome
By RJ Walker

Ok, I’m going to start the metronome.

Every time you hear this metronome tick, police in America have arrested someone.

The united states has more people incarcerated than any other country in the world.
The incarceration rate in America is double that of russia, and triple that of China.

Prisons in America exist for profit, many of which have quotas as to how full they must be. Often 90% capacity. If these quotas are not met, tax payers are on the hook for millions of dollars to be paid to private prison companies. The justice system is incentivized to arrest and imprison people to maintain these quotas.

Taking peoples rights away and locking them up is big business. Prisons make up to $150/per prisoner per day.

The motivation to fill up these prisons doesn’t stop there, though. Prisoners aren’t counted in the census and don’t have voting rights. Imprisoned populations are entirely removed from the political equation so it behooves certain politicians to be tough on crime and

(musical sound)

Oh, that was someone you know getting arrested. I wonder who it was.

Anyway, politicians from both political parties expressed they would be tougher on crime than their opponent, leading to a massive increase in police spending, police militarization, and more for profit prisons being built. The number of for-profit federal prisons doubled between the year 2000 and 2016.

Packed prisons that cut costs to maximize profits create the demand for more prisons, which must be filled to their mandated capacity, creating the demand for more prisoners, which packs the prison, and creates demand for more prisons. It’s a feedback loop that increases profits at the expense of human life, liberty, and dignity. Prison conditions are kept artificially poor to drive this system.

How can we discuss de-funding the police without discussing the prison industrial complex, which enslaves americans and turns them into profit centers? So long as arresting and imprisoning americans exists for profit, there will always be money for law enforcement. The first step to truly defunding the police is to remove for-profit entities from our justice system entirely. Justice should be the motive for every action in the justice system, not capital gain.

With laws like mandatory minimu-

(Gunshot noise.)

That means the police just killed someone….

Police kill upwards of 1000 Americans per year… At the time of this recording, for 2020, police have killed 598 people. While the police so efficiently harvest americans for the for-profit prison system, sometimes, it’s just easier to kill them. There is video after video of police committing acts of violence and murder. You could watch any one of them and know that what is happening is obviously wrong. However, the police are shielded from accountability. They play an important role in the for-profit atrocity machine that is Mass Incarceration.

Defunding the police means ending for-profit prisons.
Ending police brutality means ending for profit prisons.
How can we call America the land of the free
When every three seconds, an american loses their freedom?


from Audio Essays and Narrations, released July 27, 2020
Written and Performed by RJ Walker


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RJ Walker Salt Lake City, Utah

RJ Walker is a Professional Presenter and Spoken Word artist on Salt Lake City, Utah. "What's a spoken word artist?" you may be thinking. Well, RJ Walker is proficient in multiple mediums of spoken word. Voice Over, Voice Acting, Creative Writing, Storytelling, Stand-Up Comedy, Performance (slam) Poetry. He also has experience as a Pitch Artist, and Product Demonstrator. ... more

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