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Valdes "Dez" Straughter was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, of African-American, English/Welsh, and Latin American lineage. He dropped out of high school but obtained a GED in the Ohio “penal plantation.” He has strong positions on race, sexism, systematic racism, and slavery; and is supportive of the abolishment of prisons in favour of other alternatives. 

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    From the plantation to the prison

    Ohio’s reliance on for-profit prisons shows that slavery has never ended in this country. Prisons have always been about herding, investing in, and marketing chattel for a profit.