The Private Prison Industry is one of America’s greatest shames. Corporations contract to the states to run prisons. They profit off of every person in their “care” and they generally have minimum occupancy agreements with the states that run as high as 90%.
This means that our governments are not only paying another entity to run our prisons at a profit, but they are promising to keep bodies in the beds. There is no way to make such a promise unless you are also promising (spoken or unspoken) to violate every constitutional principle a person can think of.
These corporations crow proudly that they are “Successfully” keeping their facilities full and that they are “successfully” increasing occupancy every year. Sorry, but by the very nature of a prison system, growth is a failure not a success. It only counts as a success if you are a share holder or a board member who is counting the inmates as units of money and not people.
The rise of the prison industry as a for-profit industry has caused massive damage to us as a society.
“We believe we have been successful in increasing the number of residents in our care and continue to pursue a number of initiatives intended to further increase our occupancy and revenue.” – CCA 2010 Annual Report
This quote basically says it all.
* Their lobbyists push to keep the war on drugs going.
* Their lobbyists push for policies like “Stop and Frisk.”
* Their lobbyists are entirely responsible for the various “Three Strikes” laws.
* Their lobbyists push the agenda to have more police in schools (as opposed to private security firms) resulting in police being involved in the disciplinary process of the schools. More children are in prison as a result.
* They actively push the agenda to increase the number of undocumented immigrants that are locked up while awaiting trial, even though it has been proven that most are otherwise law abiding and will show up for court dates on their own.
* The level of corruption in the courts has sky rocketed, as they work out back room deals with judges to pay them off for tweaking verdicts and sentencing in favor of the prison system.
This is just the beginning of the list. This doesn’t even begin to deal with the fact that in order to guarantee occupancy, someone’s rights have to be ignored.
People talk about potential dystopian futures. Screw that, we are already there. Human beings, American Citizens, are being treated as cattle, and bought and sold for the profit of corporations. I am not going to point fingers at one political party or the other. After all, the country changes hands between them every four to eight years. Even if that were not true, this took cooperation on the part of both political parties to make happen, and to get to the degraded, depraved state that it is in.
And then of course, there is the most recent addition to the whole fucked up mess. Leasing out prisoners to perform labor for corporations at nickels and dimes per hour. Yes, our nation is slowly but surely reinstating full out slavery. This is going on at the state level now, but the federal government has not stepped in to stop it.
And people wonder where the jobs are going.
Here is a link to a HuffPost article on the subject:
30 Ways the Prison Industry Gets Rich