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By analogy to military-industrial complex. First known use in 1995.
- The socioeconomic combination of prisons and the private businesses that supply them with goods and services.
- 1995 January, John Conyers Jr., “Taking Back Our Streets Act of 1995: Hearing Before The Subcommittee on Crime of the Committee on the Judiciary”, in hearings (House of Representatives), Washington D.C.: United States Government Publishing Office, →ISBN, page 575:
- […] that while a person is incarcerated he can't commit a crime or they can't be continued wife abusers or whatever, is exactly the logic that is fueling the prison industrial complex that is going on for many decades, but has now become explosive.