Private Prisons Are Making A Killing Locking People Up!
Since 1970, the American prison population has grown by 700%. This growth rate far exceeds the increase of both population and crime rates. Reports indicate that America’s prison population is home to 5% of the World’s population. 25% of the World’s prisoners are locked up in America, “Land of the Free.” These stats suit the Private Prisons Industry just fine.
This rate of incarceration is the highest in the world. America has the highest rate of juvenile detention as well. On any day in America, there are 70,000 youths locked up in American jails. The American people are not the ones benefiting from this mass incarceration. That distinction goes to the “Private Prisons Industry,” which is making enormous profits out of citizens being in jail.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union[ACLU], in 2010, the two largest private prison corporations earned over three billion dollars in revenue while top executives from these firms raked in annual compensation plans totaling over three million dollars. Prior to the 1980’s, “Private Prisons” did not exist. Due largely to the “War on Drugs,” both state and federal governments needed a solution to the growing problem of overcrowding. In the 1990’s the overcrowding ballooned out of control. This conundrum played right into the business model of Private Prisons for profit.
“The demand for our facilities and services could be adversely affected by the relaxation of enforcement efforts, leniency or parole standards, and sentencing practices or the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by our criminal laws.”
The CCA and other private prisons for profit companies have lobbied hard against the movement to decriminalize the use of Marijuana. Their lobbyists are fixtures in the halls of Congress fighting against Immigration Reform. Any changes to these non-violent crimes would take an enormous chunk out of the private prisons for profit industry and save the American taxpayers billions.
The Private Prisons For Profits Lobby Is Massive
In a report filed by the Associated Press, between 2002 and 2012 the CCA, and other private prisons corporations spent a collective $45 million on lobbying state and federal lawmakers. They also shower thousands of dollars every year into election campaigns of governors, state legislators, and judges.
What has become a major issue of concern is the violence that is taking place within the walls of these private prisons. There have also been reports of deplorable conditions within the prisons.
Man Nearly Beaten To Death Inside Idaho Private Prison — Be Advised
The ACLU has filed numerous lawsuits against CCA on behalf of inmates. The sheer number of lawsuits tells this writer that the above video violence is not an isolated occurrence. It seems these private prisons for profit are nothing more than “Gladiator Schools.” The under-staffing and mismanagement of these private corporations is not only contributing to the violence, it is also creating a culture for it.
In addition to the violence, inmates and former prisoners have reported dirty, nasty, totally unsanitary conditions. There are reports of sewer problems like toilets backing up and unbearable stench within the cells.
What is even more troubling, our research has found that some of the most vulnerable inmates are located within these private prisons. Nearly 40% of all detained youths are housed in private prisons. Over half of all immigrant detainees are held in private prisons. It is shocking that most of the immigrants are simply awaiting hearings on their status and not guilty of committing any particular crime.
While crime rates are dropping in America, these private prisons for profit have become more aggressive in their tactics to make money. Within these private companies contractual agreements with the state and federal governments there have been clauses inserted guaranteeing high occupancy. Some as high as 90 to 100%. What this means if the private prisons are not filled to these agreed upon levels then the states will either have to find more people to lock up or have to pay the private corporation [using our tax dollars] for the unused bed.
What this ultimately leads to is corruption. It’s all to common in the American psyche today. There are several cases of judges on the take and no one knows how many have yet to be uncovered. However, the light is starting to come to this dark industry. 2016 presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders is introducing legislation to do away with ” Private Prisons” in America. There is hope for a positive change.
Violent, Money-Making Private Prisons on the Rise