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Archive for February, 2012

Private prison company offers to buy 48 states’ prisons

By Andrew Jones
Tuesday, February 14, 2012 12:22 EST
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Prison cell. Image via Flickr user Dylan Oliphant

In exchange for keeping at least a 90 percent occupancy rate, the private prison company Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) has sent a letter to 48 states offering to manage their prisons for the low price of $250 million per year, according to a letter obtained by the Huffington Post.

The company says it’s a way for states to help manage their current budget crisis. “We believe this comes at a timely and helpful juncture and hope you will share our belief in the benefits of the purchase-and-manage model,” CCA chief corrections officer Harley Lappin said in the letter.

But reports indicate that private prisons do not actually save states money, since the average inmate costing more than in public prisons. Worse yet, for-profit prisons have been accused of heightened levels of violence toward prisoners and have limited incentives to reduce future crimes by current inmates, through education and training programs, counseling or drug and alcohol rehabilitation, according to a report from the American Civil Liberties Union.

Last year, the CCA became the first for-profit prison company to buy outright a state-owned prison, under the auspices of the Administration of Ohio Governor John Kasich (R).

Photo credit: Flickr user Dylan Oliphant

MY COMMENT: Privatization is a handy mechanism  — almost a euphemism, actually — for transferring taxpayer funds directly into the pockets of corporations. Corporations should not be running our governmental affairs any more than they should be owning government from the inside (elected officials). This company demands 90% occupancy. What does that mean for our citizen population, especially those who already unfairly targeted by law enforcement (e.g., those guilty of driving while black or brown, etc.)? I find this simply frightening.
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