There is no ladder

As bad as you think things are, they can, and will, always somehow be worse

There is no ladder
It is, nonetheless, despite everything else, quite nice out at long last

Presumably we are all aware of the secondary system of financial punishment imposed upon incarcerated people on top of the deprivation of their liberty. The ways in which every possible cent is extracted from them, be it for significantly marked-up commissary items and toiletries, expensive cost per minute phone and video calls with family, medical co-pays, and the use of tablets for renting music and books and sending emails and so on.

Besides the usual profit-gouging motive wherein states often have deals with crony private companies who operate the tablets and video machines etc, charging inmates so much money is also in part because we imprison so many people in this country that the government (or so they say) has a hard time paying for it.

That's all without even getting to the minuscule hourly wages they are paid for labor while in prison, sometimes as low as literal pennies per hour, which the prisons nonetheless still garnish anyway. For more on that see this recent piece by our pal Kim Kelly: