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Private Prisons: What's The Harm?

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posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 05:27 PM
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It can be legitimately argued that privatizing prisons is cost effective, maybe it will alleviate the burden on the tax payer. Corporations in the prison business can provide States with an influx of cash from the sales of their facilities. Ohio, at least, seems happy with it's decision to unload it's facilities to Corrections Corporation of America.



Ohio officials lauded the September transaction, saying that private management of the facility would save a projected $3 million annually.
Linda Janes, chief of staff for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, said the purchase came at time when the state was facing a $8 billion shortfall. The $72.7 million prison purchase was aimed at helping to fill a $188 million deficit within the corrections agency.

usatoday.com

It looks like a pretty good deal, a chunk of deficit bitten off. But there's a darker side to this, in my opinion.


Ohio's deal requires the state to maintain a 90% occupancy rate, but Janes said that provision remains in effect for 18 months — not 20 years — before it can be renegotiated. As part of the deal, Ohio pays the company a monthly fee, totaling $3.8 million per year.


How can a State agree to maintain a 90% occupancy rate in prison? That sounds like incentive to deliver prison sentences over other, possibly more effective, punishments. It also could lead to charging misdemeanors more seriously. Maybe even changing the laws entirely including mandatory sentence lengths.

So, what's in it for a company such as CCA? I doubt they invested 72 million dollars just to be paid by Ohio 3.8 million per year over the next 18 months. They must be profiting because their stock is stable. (thanks, MyMindIsMyOwn)


CXW‎ - Corrections Corp Of America (NYSE)‎
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Apr 23 4:03pm ET - Disclaimer
Open: 31.20
High: 31.24
Low: 30.27

Volume: 4,173,045
Avg Vol: 1,618,000
Mkt Cap: 3.02B


Prison Labor

As a child Ayana Cole dreamed of becoming a world class fashion designer. Today she is among hundreds of inmates crowded in an Oregon prison factory cranking out designer jeans. For her labor she is paid 45 cents an hour. At a chic Beverly Hills boutique some of the beaded creations carry a $350 price tag. In fact the jeans labeled "Prison Blues" -- proved so popular last year that prison factories couldn't keep up with demand.

For the tycoons who have invested in the prison industry, it has been like finding a pot of gold. They don't have to worry about strikes or paying unemployment, health or worker's comp insurance, vacation or comp time. All of their workers are full time, and never arrive late or are absent because of family problems; moreover, if prisoners refuse to work, they are moved to disciplinary housing and lose canteen privileges. Most importantly, they lose "good time" credit that reduces their sentence.

alternet.org (2006)

Again we come back to incentives. There's no way job seekers can compete with prison labor, not and be able to live outside of prison, anyway. I really do get the concept of it but look at the real cost, eventually are we going to be begging to get into prison so that we have a roof over head and food in our belly? Where is the incentive for job creators to go outside the prison system for labor?


Prisoners, whose ranks increasingly consist of those for whom the legitimate economy has found no use, now make up a virtual brigade within the reserve army of the unemployed whose ranks have ballooned along with the U.S. incarceration rate. The Corrections Corporation of America and G4S (formerly Wackenhut), two prison privatizers, sell inmate labor at subminimum wages to Fortune 500 corporations like Chevron, Bank of America, AT&T, and IBM.

fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com

Ties to ALEC

Another one of ALEC's more egregious pieces of legislation, the Prison Industries Act (PIE), privatizes prison labor and directs any money earned by the prisoners towards expanding the prison industry, creating more prisoner work programs and paying corporations for setting them up. Prior to ALEC's intervention, that money was used to offset taxpayer expenses. Now it fattens corporate wallets. Some 30 states operate PIE programs based upon legislation derived from ALEC. Florida has 41 prison industries, California has 60, and there are roughly 100 throughout the other states that employ prison labor.

What some Americans may not have realized, however, is that these resulting prison labor industries, which rely on cheap, almost free labor, are doing as much to put the average American out of work as the outsourcing of jobs to China and India. "It's bad enough that our companies have to compete with exploited and forced labor in China. They shouldn't have to compete against prison labor here at home," noted Scott Paul , Executive Director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

huffingtonpost.com

That just confirms so much for me right there, Corporations writing legislation for Corporations. They recover from the recession while the people continue to struggle and lose ground. I find myself thinking so often these days that I can't believe this is my country, I can't believe this is America, the leaders of the free world.




posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 05:34 PM
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In and of itself, nothing is wrong with it.

The problems arise when they start creating problems to justify their existence and finding excuses to lock people up, just to make a buck. The judges in New Jersey comes to mind right off the bat.



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 05:40 PM
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It will not relieve the taxpayer. What is not covered in a contract between government and a prison corporation, will be covered in prison corporation subsidies.

Privatizing prisons makes imprisoned humans a direct profitable market commodity. Which is nothing less then human slavery with legalized market trading. Which leads to commodity futures speculation. Which leads to higher incarceration to meet the growing market needs.



I feel I need to say this is a hit and run post. I have no desire to discuss my perspective.



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 05:42 PM
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An excellent post. Thanks for doing the legwork.

Add this to your list of reasons this is so messed up:

ATS: Pa. Judge Gets 28 Years in "Kids-for-Cash" Scandal

When you turn the penal system into a for-profit sector this sort of behaviour is bound to occur.

Lives ruined, corruption on the judicial bench, and all the while this continues on.

From your original post, this one really grabbed me:



As a child Ayana Cole dreamed of becoming a world class fashion designer. Today she is among hundreds of inmates crowded in an Oregon prison factory cranking out designer jeans. For her labor she is paid 45 cents an hour. At a chic Beverly Hills boutique some of the beaded creations carry a $350 price tag. In fact the jeans labeled "Prison Blues" -- proved so popular last year that prison factories couldn't keep up with demand.


Totally messed up!



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 05:42 PM
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Will you still think they are harmless when they start to target people who have certain skills, accuse them of a crime* so they can exploit their prison labor.
What will you say when they come for your skill set?


*With half a million of them on the books you can bet you break enough every day to be locked up at any time.



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 05:44 PM
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Thanks for bringing up this subject and sharing this info.

I've heard a bit about the prison system in the U.S, as there always seems to be news about our own prison systems on our side of the pond.

I gotta admit this is news to me, being naive as I am..


S&F



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 05:44 PM
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reply to post by VforVendettea
 


Thanks for posting without reading the entire OP, it isn't even very long lol.
edit on 23-4-2012 by Kali74 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 05:46 PM
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reply to post by emberscott
 


Privatizing prisons makes imprisoned humans a direct profitable market commodity.


You're absolutely right.
Prison is big business. Just look at the judge in PA who was sending kids to that private juvenile facility for the extra bucks? There's no question in my mind that the prisoners will be used as guinea pigs for drugs and experimental punishments. I also believe that if prisons are privatized we're going to see even more innocents placed within. Many people don't know that standardized tests are a gauge for how many cells they are going to need in the future. Every time a student fails the reading portion, the state gets money for one prison cell. Florida is pushing hard for private prisons and they just made the FCAT more difficult. I wonder why?



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 05:47 PM
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The private sector is purely "for profit." THAT is the problem. When the importance of profit exceeds everything else.

Most very large entities that operate on a for-profit basis exist entirely for (increased) profit, and in this instance it would be a huge potential detriment.

(Private) Institutions and corporations will take direct advantage of people and anything else to turn a profit.

Just look around.

Pretty simple.



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 05:48 PM
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Capitalism is all about making money. Maximize profits is goal #1. There are several things that are wrong about capitalizing prison systems. Lower prison social standards, increase in inmate populations, collusion between corrupt law enforcement officials and prison wardens are all examples. There is a very simple way to solve this whole "prison" thing. First, create laws that distinguish between minor offenses and major offenses. Minor offenses include victim-less crimes and acts that don't represent a major threat to society. Major offenses are things like murder, armed robbery, multi-million dollar fraud, etc. Identify anyone who breaks the law by getting the following information from them:
Full Name, Birth date, Sex, Hair Color, Height, Weight, DNA Sample, Inmate Number (Alphanumeric, 32 characters)
If they break the law again or they commit a major offense, and it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, try giving them a tattoo on their arm of their inmate number, $1000, a plane ticket, and revoke their United States citizenship.
edit on 23-4-2012 by questforevidence because:



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 05:48 PM
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Originally posted by Skewed
In and of itself, nothing is wrong with it.

The problems arise when they start creating problems to justify their existence and finding excuses to lock people up, just to make a buck. The judges in New Jersey comes to mind right off the bat.


Amen
Don't we already have the highest incarceration percentage in the world now?
I really don't mind that government prisons are operated on a non-profit basis.
It is worth it.
edit on 23-4-2012 by Nite_wing because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 05:48 PM
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reply to post by Hessling
 


I heard about that, the only good thing out of that is that the judge gets to be an active victim of the system he probably helped create. Utterly disgusting. These are the psychopaths we are at the mercy of.



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 05:50 PM
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When private companies become the jailors then the jails them selves become gulags. Just look at the american prisons to see what a failed concept it is. To rehabiliate someone costs money.



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 05:51 PM
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For everyone that read the title without actually reading the OP, You can return here and re-read it.

And yes, I agree with the OP entirely. A very well put together thread.

S&F.




posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 05:54 PM
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reply to post by Kali74
 


Our corporate overlords want to bring in the Gulags and Work Camps to profit from us even more.
There are horror stories in the work camps in North Korea, Russian Gulags etc, but already, I have heard of many horror stories in US prisons as well.


Killed, beaten, and raped victims in prison in the US?
Yup, but most American's don't bat an eye because they are all "criminals" that deserve it.



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 05:56 PM
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reply to post by Kali74
 


This is whats wrong with it!!! Private Prisons+Corrupt Politicians/Judges= People convicted of minor crimes or innocent people being sent to jail for kickbacks.


Thousands of convictions quashed after judge is jailed for getting $1m kickbacks from private prisons he sent youngsters to Read more: www.dailymail.co.uk...

Source



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 06:00 PM
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reply to post by Kali74

As a child Ayana Cole dreamed of becoming a world class fashion designer. Today she is among hundreds of inmates crowded in an Oregon prison factory cranking out designer jeans.

 


Here is the website for Oregon Corrections Enterprises. Specifically, the "Prison Blues" jeans division.

They also market and sell furniture and signage among other things.

Their motto is: Teaching job skills to Oregon’s inmates through meaningful work experience


Which might be more accurate if it were: Earning profit off of Oregon’s inmates through meaningful work experience servitude.

edit on 23-4-2012 by boncho because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 06:04 PM
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Oh, and to put a "pin into the baloon" about how privatizing would save taxpayers money...


As Dr. Price said at the press conference, “private prisons don’t save dollars and they don’t make sense.” Only reforms that rely less on incarceration make economic, community, safety and civil rights sense. In Florida and nationally, we must continue our efforts by enacting real reforms in sentencing and creating effective diversion and re-entry programs. De-incarceration, not privatization, will save money, keep Florida safe by preventing future crime and protect the rights of all Floridians.


"Private Prisons Don’t Save Dollars and They Don’t Make Sense"

And...


Research across numerous states has shown that the promised savings from private prisons can be illusory at best. Cost comparisons often fail to account for extra administrative expenses borne by the state, or differences in health care costs for sickly inmates who normally remain in state supervision.


Push To Privatize US Prisons Lurks in Corporate Investment Scheme



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 06:10 PM
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reply to post by SmoKeyHaZe
 


I wonder if it is similar in the UK Smokeh...Our two countries seem to be wandering down the same psychopathic road. Well to be fair much of the entire Western world does.



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 06:21 PM
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Originally posted by emberscott
It will not relieve the taxpayer. What is not covered in a contract between government and a prison corporation, will be covered in prison corporation subsidies.

Privatizing prisons makes imprisoned humans a direct profitable market commodity. Which is nothing less then human slavery with legalized market trading. Which leads to commodity futures speculation. Which leads to higher incarceration to meet the growing market needs.



I feel I need to say this is a hit and run post. I have no desire to discuss my perspective.


Im glad you did discuss your perspective. I have thought about a lot of the negatives of this issue.....but yours made me think even more. I think you are exactly right, it amounts to human slavery.

thank you for making me think even harder about it.



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