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Bernie Sanders seeks to ban private prisons

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posted on Sep, 17 2015 @ 11:48 PM
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Private prisons corporations are having states sign contracts stating they will meet quotas on the of prisoners, the beds must be filled. A good example of this was the recent case in which a judge ended up being charged and sentenced for taking paid bribes for supplying children to to a for profit prison.

Prisons have a priority on government contracts and their bids can be up to 10% above that of a non prison contractor and the prison will still be awarded the contract. The private prison industry does not have to pay minimum wage which gives them a big advantage in cost of production. Private for profit prisons are always in need of more prisoners, the more prisoners the bigger the profit.

The problem with an ever increasing prison population is it creates and perpetuates the prison state at the expense of the working class. Bernie Sanders sees the problems that private prisons are causing in the US of A and has introduced a bill to end the for profits prison industry:


The Vermont independent, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, introduced the “Justice is not for Sale Act” with Democratic Reps. Raúl Grijalva of Arizona, Keith Ellison of Minnesota and Bobby Rush of Illinois. It would bar the federal government from contracting with private incarceration companies starting two years after passage.



“The profit motivation of private companies running prisons works at cross purposes with the goals of criminal justice,” Sanders said. “Criminal justice and public safety are without a doubt the responsibility of the citizens of our country, not private corporations. They should be carried out by those who answer to voters, not those who answer to investors.”

source

So much are prisoners paid?
That varies from state to state and federal prisons, but the bottom line they pay a pittance of what the rest of business pays.


"All told, nearly a million prisoners are now making office furniture, working in call centers, fabricating body armor, taking hotel reservations, working in slaughterhouses, or manufacturing textiles, shoes, and clothing, while getting paid somewhere between 93 cents and $4.73 per day," the professors write.

And some prisoners don't make a dime for their work, according to the Nation, which notes that many inmates in Racine, Wis. are not paid for their work, but receive time off their sentences.

source

A few more words from Mr Sanders on private prisons in the US of A:


“Study after study after study has shown private prisons are not cheaper, they are not safer, and they do not provide better outcomes for either the prisoners or the state,” Sanders said at a press conference Thursday.



Raking in billions of dollars, two of the largest prison corporations, GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), are some of the most influential lobbyists in the country.



“In my view, corporations should not be allowed to make a profit by building more jails and keeping more Americans behind bars. We have got to end the private-for-profit prison racket in America,” Sanders said. “It is unacceptable that companies like Corrections Corporation of America and the GEO Group are spending tens of millions of dollars lobbying members of Congress and state legislatures all over this country to keep more Americans behind bars for longer and longer sentences. That has got to end.”

source

Sanders is not just talking about changes, he is introducing bills that can make a better country for the people rather than passing bills to make bigger profits for the corporations!


edit on 17-9-2015 by AlaskanDad because: corrected typo added another quote

edit on 17-9-2015 by AlaskanDad because: corrected typo, added another quote and removed an unnecessary word




posted on Sep, 18 2015 @ 12:02 AM
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Bernie Sanders has a lot of great ideas up his sleeve, I really like him so far.

Private for-profit prisons are one of the biggest problems we face in my opinion. They are basically slave camps where the state forces prisoners to work for little to nothing, it's cheap labor for them.

This is why many police departments have a quota they have to meet each month, they need to keep a steady supply of slave labor pouring into these prisons. It's much more convenient to pay pennies on the dollar than to hire legitimate workers. Many of these prisoners are non-violent offenders as well, so it wouldn't surprise me one bit if all these things add up to police arresting more people in order to meet the quota the state sets for them in order for the state to gain more cheap labor.

It's a disgusting practice in my opinion. Go Bernie!



posted on Sep, 18 2015 @ 12:50 AM
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a reply to: AlaskanDad

Okay, okay. Let's take a step back and look at the bigger picture and get some perspective on private prisons. We hear about them all the time, and we're told that there is a big effort to lock more people up and make more profit off those people. What's the reality though when it comes to private prisons? You may be surprised...



There are approximately 2 million inmates in state, federal and private prisons throughout the country. According to California Prison Focus, “no other society in human history has imprisoned so many of its own citizens.” The figures show that the United States has locked up more people than any other country: a half million more than China, which has a population five times greater than the U.S.


Okay, so in total we have 2 million people in prisons.



The prison privatization boom began in the 1980s, under the governments of Ronald Reagan and Bush Sr., but reached its height in 1990 under William Clinton, when Wall Street stocks were selling like hotcakes. Clinton’s program for cutting the federal workforce resulted in the Justice Departments contracting of private prison corporations for the incarceration of undocumented workers and high-security inmates


Okay, so this really all took off in earnest in the 80s...30 years ago. But how many people are in private prisons? How big is this getting? Not nearly as big as you think or have been lead to believe...



About 18 corporations guard 10,000 prisoners in 27 states. The two largest are Correctional Corporation of America (CCA) and Wackenhut, which together control 75%.

globalresearch.ca

So, out of 2 million prisoners nationwide, only 10,000 of them are in a private prison. That's half a percent of all prisoners in the USA. Half a percent. Since the 1980s.

So in over 30 years, we have half a percent of all our prisoners in private prisons.

Seriously, this is that big of an epidemic? Why are we being whipped up into a frenzy over .5% of all prisoners in private prisons? Why are we being told to be angry about that?

What we ought to be angry about is having more prisoners than China in total! Yep, in all those local, state, and federal prisons. We should be angry about that, not 10,000 people in 27 states being held in for-profit prisons...



posted on Sep, 18 2015 @ 12:58 AM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom




What we ought to be angry about is having more prisoners than China in total!


I'll admit I thought these two issues were one in the same.
Didn't know that the numbers inside these private prisons were so low.



posted on Sep, 18 2015 @ 01:31 AM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom

Good point, but I still believe they need to be done away with. With the way things are going today, I wouldn't be surprised if it did turn into an epidemic at some point in the future. May as well nip it in the bud before it gets out of control rather than wait until it's too late.



posted on Sep, 18 2015 @ 01:44 AM
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a reply to: 3NL1GHT3N3D1

I don't disagree, but in thirty years we only have 10,000 out of 2 million in private prison. Half a percent.

We ought to be looking at the justice system, where poor people that can't afford legal representation are thrown a public defender, and usually get a guilty plea deal. John Oliver did a segment on it:



Public defenders are so overworked that they often handle hundreds of cases -- or in Fresno County, California, they handle up to 1,000 felony cases a year when state guidelines say they should only have 150.

And in New Orleans, some public defenders get an average of seven minutes to prepare a case.

Link



90-95% of all public defender cases end in some kind of plea deal, usually involving jail time.

So our the vast majority of our prisoners are poor people. We jail the poor. You know what this reminds me of? The pound. The important difference between human prison and the animal pound is that with the animals, we kill them if they've been there to long. Both take the homeless and down and out and lock them behind bars.

At least we aren't euthanizing the prisoners we have to make room for more...



posted on Sep, 18 2015 @ 01:59 AM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom

So we should wait and let private prisons populations increase?



source

If we had no for profit incarceration facilities would this have happened?

Corrupt ‘Kids for Cash’ judge ruined more than 2,000 lives

or this?

‘Gladiator School’: FBI Investigates Idaho Private Prison for Abuse

Private prisons populations might not be in the millions, but does that mean that we need them in the US of A?




edit on 18-9-2015 by AlaskanDad because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 18 2015 @ 03:18 AM
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a reply to: AlaskanDad

No, and I'm not arguing that point...

My contention is that the private prison issue is a distraction, a false issue to focus on. We need to be tackling the larger issue of jailing the poor and non-violent in unprecedented numbers. Not only does it tear families apart, destroy people's futures -- it also costs the taxpayers ungodly sums of money.

We need to be reducing the population of ALL prisons, public and private!



posted on Sep, 18 2015 @ 04:46 AM
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Private prisons are hideous! Go Bernie!!!



posted on Sep, 18 2015 @ 05:52 AM
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a reply to: AlaskanDad

Awesome !!! About time......



posted on Sep, 18 2015 @ 06:53 AM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom


What we ought to be angry about is having more prisoners than China in total! Yep, in all those local, state, and federal prisons. We should be angry about that, not 10,000 people in 27 states being held in for-profit prisons...


We ought to be angry about both!!! Especially because the excessive incarceration rate is tied to the prisons for profit. There is no room in a "justice" system for quotas and guaranteed incarceration rates. The two cannot be separated.



posted on Sep, 18 2015 @ 06:58 AM
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a reply to: AlaskanDad

Go Bernie Go!!!

Thanks for posting this. I haven't decided yet who to vote for, but Bernie's sure been impressing me....



posted on Sep, 18 2015 @ 07:16 AM
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a reply to: AlaskanDad

Guten Morgen- You might also look into "Private Jails" where they stay for 'misdemeanors' This would include those arrested for a Felony and during the 'plea bargain' they are whittled down to 'misdemeanors'. This would also include folks arrested on warrants and in some cases a 'probation/parole hold' (where the person stays in jail until their P.O. can see them.

If You'd like to know if Your jail is Private, check the local newspaper and see how they now get "booked" in lieu of getting a Promise To Appear (PTA)

This is a good movie that depicts this:

www.imdb.com...

www.imdb.com...

In 2001 when The Taliban was in charge, Afghanistan produced 7% of the world's opium. Since TheWar began that number has increased to 86+%. Since 2001 the numbers of usage/arrests of those involved with heroin has grown at close to the same rate.
Remember "The Crack War"? circa early 90s? That is when the Urban male (read: black or other) was incarcerated for using/selling coc aine base. (rock or crack) They were incarcerated for 20-25 years in PRISON. The sub-Urban male (white, affluent, voter) received PROBATION for using/selling coc aine HCL (powder; whiff)
That Urban male is just NOW getting out of PRISON.

The very last case I worked on as a Ca. cop was in 2002. It started out as a MDMA (ecstacy) then turned into a heroin case. I followed that case ALL the way to the source. Imagine My chagrin.........

In the County I currently dwell, CCA™ has them by the testicles. The County would owe $16M if they cancelled the contract. The newspaper shows folks getting "booked" for the least of crimes deemed 'misdemeanors' Each time a body is booked there is a "booking fee" which the taxpayer gets jammed for.

namaste

Edit: Here is another ATS™ thread about jails/prisons

www.abovetopsecret.com...

You might look into the County jails too. CCA™ is the company running our local jail.
edit on 10/13/2014 by JimNasium because: added thread link.



posted on Sep, 18 2015 @ 08:57 AM
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I'm going to throw my 2 cents in here.

My wife works for CCA.

They do contract with state AND local governments to provide incarceration services. However, they are awarded these contracts only if they can demonstrate that they can provide these services cheaper than the government.

That said, all corporations are in business to make money.

What happens is, they reduce "non-essential" staff such as educators and medical staff, and they force non-exempt (hourly) employees to get off the clock at 40 hours thus eliminating overtime. This reduces their costs, but it also causes them to be short staffed.

I believe that if they maintained staff levels where they should be, they would probably not be able to provide the services any cheaper and would not get the contracts.

I agree that the focus needs to be on the reduction of the total number of inmates. I also agree that it is usually the poor that end up being incarcerated.

I have not read Sanders' bill yet, but eliminating private prisons alone, will not fix the problem. The private prisons came into existence due to overcrowding. If we eliminate private prisons, the government will just want more tax dollars to build more prisons, or buy the private prisons out. Either way, it means bigger government, more taxes, and no change in the underlying cause.

It all goes back to personal responsibility.



posted on Sep, 18 2015 @ 09:03 AM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom

The problem isn't the number of inmates in private prisons (as you've pointed out, it's a small percentage).

The problem is the influence these for-profit corporations have on policy:

[From a research paper I did]

"Corporate and government interest in the prison industry leads to ethical questions, because with a privatized, for-profit prison system, we have organizations with strong economic incentives to have more and more people imprisoned. These private prison companies have also been effectively driving corrections policy, with increasing success over the past few decades. Cheap prison labor enables private companies with the means to produce and assemble products inexpensively, while compensating at minimal levels. The prison system currently provides numerous financial benefits for private businesses and lawmakers, while viewing inmates as a resource and in in an inhumane manner. The purpose of this report is to demonstrate how government and corporate interests and actions have created [and are contributing to] a destructive, immoral system of imprisonment of non-violent offenders in the U.S., and to explore how this impacts our society."



posted on Sep, 18 2015 @ 09:07 AM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom

If anyone is interested I'd be happy to share the rest of the paper - basically it outlines how various Senators and other policymakers pushed for private prisons and programs that use prison inmates as dirt-cheap labor to help corporations:

"The Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution made slavery and involuntary servitude illegal. However, prison inmates are not protected by the Thirteenth Amendment, and are often used for inexpensive labor (Dyson 181). America’s prison labor programs employ “more people than any Fortune 500 company (besides General Motors), and generates about $2.4 billion in revenue annually” (Khalek). Cheap labor and an endless supply of inmates makes for appealing business opportunities in any number of different industries. Cheap prison labor incentives have helped privatized business further contribute to the continued growth and development of our prison-industrial complex.

Companies including IBM, Microsoft, Boeing, J.C. Penney, and Victoria’s Secret, all employ the use of prison labor as a way to significantly reduce their labor expenses (Cummings). A circuit board assembly factory in Texas even laid off 150 of its workers, turning instead to prison labor available at Lockhart Texas prison – another privately-run facility (Pelaez). Prison labor entails extremely low wages, with an average payment rate of about $0.40 per hour – nowhere near minimum wage (Cummings). CCA’s prison facilities in Tennessee provide wages of up to $0.50 per hour for certain “highly skilled positions”, and in many other private prisons inmates receive a meager $0.17 per hour. One company even closed its doors at its assembly plant in Mexico - which could be classified as a Third World labor market – and relocated to operate in close proximity to San Quentin State Prison in California, using prison labor as an alternative business solution, due to the financial appeal of cheap prison labor (Pelaez). There are more than 600,000 (likely closer to one million) inmates who work full-time in our nation’s correctional facilities (Khalek).

With such financial incentives, it is no wonder private prison companies like CCA want to see higher incarceration rates and further development of the prison-industrial complex. With such objectives in mind, it is not surprising that the CCA has been a key proponent of harsh criminal penalties for non-violent offenders with the goal of an increased ability to nail prosecutions to defendants (Mason 14-15).
"

edit on 18-9-2015 by FamCore because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 18 2015 @ 09:12 AM
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originally posted by: MystikMushroom
a reply to: AlaskanDad

Okay, okay. Let's take a step back and look at the bigger picture and get some perspective on private prisons. We hear about them all the time, and we're told that there is a big effort to lock more people up and make more profit off those people. What's the reality though when it comes to private prisons? You may be surprised...



There are approximately 2 million inmates in state, federal and private prisons throughout the country. According to California Prison Focus, “no other society in human history has imprisoned so many of its own citizens.” The figures show that the United States has locked up more people than any other country: a half million more than China, which has a population five times greater than the U.S.


Okay, so in total we have 2 million people in prisons.



The prison privatization boom began in the 1980s, under the governments of Ronald Reagan and Bush Sr., but reached its height in 1990 under William Clinton, when Wall Street stocks were selling like hotcakes. Clinton’s program for cutting the federal workforce resulted in the Justice Departments contracting of private prison corporations for the incarceration of undocumented workers and high-security inmates


Okay, so this really all took off in earnest in the 80s...30 years ago. But how many people are in private prisons? How big is this getting? Not nearly as big as you think or have been lead to believe...



About 18 corporations guard 10,000 prisoners in 27 states. The two largest are Correctional Corporation of America (CCA) and Wackenhut, which together control 75%.

globalresearch.ca

So, out of 2 million prisoners nationwide, only 10,000 of them are in a private prison. That's half a percent of all prisoners in the USA. Half a percent. Since the 1980s.

So in over 30 years, we have half a percent of all our prisoners in private prisons.

Seriously, this is that big of an epidemic? Why are we being whipped up into a frenzy over .5% of all prisoners in private prisons? Why are we being told to be angry about that?

What we ought to be angry about is having more prisoners than China in total! Yep, in all those local, state, and federal prisons. We should be angry about that, not 10,000 people in 27 states being held in for-profit prisons...



C'mon man, you can't bring facts to a Liberal argument! You have to get all frenzied up on emotions and hype rhetoric!

Close the ev1l corporate prizzons!!!11



posted on Sep, 18 2015 @ 11:03 AM
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Kudos to Mystik!

Yet another example of Sanders telling people X is 'bad', and they buy it hook line, and sinker.

I guess people forget WHY exactly people get thrown in prison.

Some people just love to write laws.

People like Sanders.

Stop writing so many laws. Won't be so many people in 'prison'.

Which brings us to another point.

What makes a prison?

4 walls, a cot, and a toilet ?

Or the warden in the oval office with his guards at congress.
edit on 18-9-2015 by neo96 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 18 2015 @ 11:08 AM
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a reply to: AlaskanDad

Wow I agree with Bernie on something. Something about for profit prisons has never been right with me.



posted on Sep, 18 2015 @ 11:14 AM
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a reply to: neo96

Ha, thanks Neo...

Sanders is just running with a talking point that's popular among people. It's not really a new idea from him, as we've all heard about the profit-prisons for a while now. I think even Alex Jones goes on at length about them.

It's important to try and get perspective on stuff like this when claims are made. I heard about the private prison system, and after watching the 2nd season of "Orange is the new Black" (it wasn't my choice, honestly she wanted to watch it) wherein the prison is taken over by a corporation...I became curious.

Bold claims require strong support, and I didn't find any with the for-profit prisons...What I did uncover was much worse. The legal system itself is rotten through, and god help you if you're poor and find yourself inside the court system.

Private prisons can still teach us a lot though, as someone else pointed out they do set policies that other non-private prisons may adopt.

I think it's very telling that in over 30 years the private prison system hasn't grown more than it has. This tells me that it may be only marginally cheaper to operate. So many states are cash-strapped, and if a cheaper option that afforded a similar level of service was available, you'd bet your bottom dollar they'd jump at the chance to use it.

I like Sanders just fine, but he's a politician. He brings up issues people want to discuss. He needs to be addressing the public defender issue, I mentioned above. He needs to be addressing the 2 million people locked up as whole. Sure, the private system is a part of it -- but it's only the tip of the iceberg.







 
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