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Private Prisons: What's The Harm?

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posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 06:45 PM
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what's wrong with private prisons: check out "kids for cash".

it's a license for corruption all the way from the police, to the prosecutor, to the judge, to the justice system, to the governor's office that approves it, to the members of the state congress that proposes it and to the contractors and business that profit from actually building the prison.

not to mention that public safety wouldn't be the no.1 concern but maximizing profit.

imagine a world were you throw an empty can of coke on the street, and instead of a fine or a warning from a cop, you're booked and ordered to appear before a judge.

once there, hoping at worst community service, you get 2 months in a private prison. but you don't do 2 months. you end up doing 5 because the people responsible for releasing you are private employees who'll don't do squat until the corporate board orders it.

why, because the state pays the private prison to incarcerate you. the longer you're a guest, the more they collect.

you complain to your lawyer and your lawyer files a motion to the court to release you. months go by because the judge ignores its, why you wonder nobody seems interested in your plight, it's because he's corrupt and was paid to convict you and keep you locked up.

you're finally released, for littering after 5 long months of forced labour and incarceration, not because you broke a law, but because you were a way to make a buck.

this isn't fiction. its happening right now. spitting or talking back to a cop, could get you 12 months incarceration.

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




posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 06:51 PM
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justicepolicy.org Here is a pdf detailing the folly and just how hard Private Prisons are pushing to maintain occupancy.


The two largest private prison companies, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and GEO Group, combined had over $2.9 billion in revenue in 2010.



While private prison companies may try to present themselves as just meeting existing ‚demand‛ for prison beds and responding to current ‚market‛ conditions, in fact they have worked hard over the past decade to create markets for their product. As revenues of private prison companies have grown over the past decade, the companies have had more resources with which to build political power, and they have used this power to promote policies that lead to higher rates of incarceration.



Over the years, these political strategies have allowed private prison companies to promote policies that lead to higher rates of incarceration and thus greater profit margins for their company. In particular, private prison companies have had either influence over or helped to draft model legislation such as ‚three-strikes‛ and ‚truth-in-sentencing‛ laws, both of which have driven up incarceration rates and ultimately created more opportunities for private prison companies to bid on contracts to increase revenues. The recent Supreme Court decision in Citizens United vs. FEC further facilitates this influence by allowing corporations to engage freely in paid political speech such as television and radio ads and programs.



Private prison companies, through their Political Action Committees (PACs) and contributions by their employees, give millions of dollars to politicians at both the state and federal level.58 Since 2000, the three largest private prison companies—CCA, GEO and Cornell Companies have contributed $835,514 to federal candidates, including senators and members of the House of Representatives. Giving to state level politicians during the last five election cycles was much higher: $6,092,331.60 This likely reflects two factors: that states collectively continue to be their largest client, and that at the federal level, elected officials may be less involved in the decisions to award private prison contracts than non-elected bureaucrats. Contributions to state politicians have been increasing over the past five major election cycles. For instance, 2010 marked the highest recorded year of state political giving by these private prison companies since 2000.


Yet another reason to overturn Citizens United. This is horrendous, all branches of government seem to be bought and paid for now. Many States have entered into law that they will not recognize Corporations as people however, if I recall correctly each has been met with Federal Opposition because Corporatations are Constitutionally recognized as people. We have to change this if we want a fair shot. The Corporate agenda is naked before us now, we have no excuse not to act.



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 06:51 PM
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reply to post by emberscott
 






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.



Personally I think this statement about sums it up. This is nothing more than a way to get cheap labor. To produce goods at a huge profit. Virtual slavery. Watch the corporations lobbies pay politicians to pass a law where they don't have to pay the inmates anything.

Then the corporation will be able to pick and chose who is guilty based upon what skills they have, not whether they are guilty or not.



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 07:32 PM
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Entice Illegals over the border and once the harvest season is over turn them over to authorities where they can serve the greater corporate good?


The three largest corporations with stakes in immigration detention today are Corrections Corporations of America (CCA), the GEO Group, Inc., and the Management and Training Corporation (MTC). In 2010, CCA and GEO reported annual revenues of 1.69 billion and 1.17 billion respectively, but because neither the corporations nor ICE make the necessary data publicly available, it is so far not possible to determine what percentage of these profits are attributable to ICE contracts.

detentionwatchnetwork.org



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 12:32 AM
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Originally posted by Hessling
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.


They've created a scenario where the mechanics of the system in practice, have become diametrically opposed to the law in theory. The basic assumptions and heuristics of Capitalism as an overall system, make this inevitable. You can't have a free market system without having entrenched, systemic crime. It's not possible.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 12:37 AM
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Originally posted by Kali74

While private prison companies may try to present themselves as just meeting existing ‚demand‛ for prison beds and responding to current ‚market‛ conditions, in fact they have worked hard over the past decade to create markets for their product. As revenues of private prison companies have grown over the past decade, the companies have had more resources with which to build political power, and they have used this power to promote policies that lead to higher rates of incarceration.


The other problem is, that you have states like Texas, where the doctrine of revenge, including both maximum security incarceration and the death penalty, are an entrenched part of the already existing historical culture. The attitude of "Kill them all, and let God sort them out," is an integral part of Texas' heritage. I don't know whether it is still true now, but for several years Texas had the highest rate of capital punishment deaths in the country.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 12:59 AM
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How do private firms make it cheaper? Better management skills? Why not just hire the guys who work for the private systems to run the state systems. Same should go for energy, utilities, telecom, etc. Lets exchange the profit in these industries and return it to the workers and consumers and reward innovative discoveries in these fields with one time payments.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 01:37 AM
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Originally posted by sligtlyskeptical
How do private firms make it cheaper? Better management skills? Why not just hire the guys who work for the private systems to run the state systems. Same should go for energy, utilities, telecom, etc. Lets exchange the profit in these industries and return it to the workers and consumers and reward innovative discoveries in these fields with one time payments.


Naa, creates too many long term problems(with psychopaths constantly conniving to gain leadership positions).

We just need to reform Corporate, Non Profit and Small Business law's.

Corporations should have limited liability, but high taxation. Treat any crime commited by an agent of the corporation(employee) as if the corporation was an accessory to the crime. Resulting in either the entire Corporation(Corporate Assets) being seized, or the particular assets used for that particular crime(think using Civil Asset Siezure against Corporations).

Non-Profit Corporations: Should have similar limited liability, but ultra low taxation with the main condition being they have to honor the 30-1 pay scale, and for every year they violate the 30-1, they have to pay double the for profit corporate tax rate.

Small Businesses: Unlimited liability, but they should pay no income tax at all. Only property, FUTA/SUTA taxes, as well as other minor taxes.

The problem is, for profit corporations have been given benefits they where never meant to have(the original trade off was no liability in exchange for much, much higher taxes).



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 06:07 AM
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it has been documented that judges have been paid money by big business private prisons to give longer sentances to inmates so the prisons profit more!!!
i watched a show on this,and a few judges were caught,and removed.
thats the harm!!!



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 08:31 AM
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It's a fundamentally stupid idea to incentivize incarceration within a judicial system.

This is what having 'for profit' prisons do.

As others have said it allows corruption, as the case of the two judges getting kick backs for issuing heavy custodial sentences proves.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 09:11 AM
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Wouldn't letting free most the featherweight-criminals in the american prison system free up money?



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 09:16 AM
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like a lot of good ideas it can be exploited, some of these private prisons base their stock market price on the number of inmates incarcerated, the more prisoners the more money and this is where the corruption begins.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 09:21 AM
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If more communities were willing to move beyond the draconian law enforcement paradox and towards actual treatment of disorders, we then would not be whining loud about the cost on our tax bill.

You see, Americans want justice when they want it and they almost always want either jail or the death penalty. Americans want to be able to declare someone guilty immediately, hence the reliance upon media to skew trial outcomes, etc.

You can't have it all when you want it.

There is no need to privatize prisons when you can decriminalize the offensive element, treat those who are addicted and tax/regulate the hell out of that element.

Who needs prisons?

This country just keeps finding new ways to disappoint.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 09:33 AM
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Originally posted by reficul
it has been documented that judges have been paid money by big business private prisons to give longer sentances to inmates so the prisons profit more!!!
i watched a show on this,and a few judges were caught,and removed.
thats the harm!!!


Yea, its not a secret, see my first post, where I link to a story that shows just one example of this corruption.
Does no one ever wonder why a country of only 300 million people (USA) has the highest incarceration rate in the world?

edit on 24-4-2012 by Juggernog because: (no reason given)





source for images
edit on 24-4-2012 by Juggernog because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 10:01 AM
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Originally posted by Kali74
It can be legitimately argued that privatizing prisons is cost effective,


No it can't. Since when has business ever existed to save the customer money? The whole point is to get the customer to pay as much as possible and when the government is involved market forces are anything but free or fair only adding to the ability for prisons to ratchet up the cost. That ignores the very literal slavery that they are legally allowed to commit. In 2012, you think people would be against slavery, but apparently not everyone is. These people are forced to work for nothing. (Pennies an hour is not a wage it is slavery.) Somethings in society just do not need to be run for a profit. Anything that benefits the society or is a function of it should not be privatized. How many more corporations have to screw us for people to realize business is no friend? There is no democracy involved when private corporations take over social functions. Private water companies work out great right? The water bill always goes down when private corporations take over, right? That's what I thought. There is not one single reason, besides making a few people rich and enslaving people like drug users who never did anything to anyone (Anything wrong.), for allowing social needs/functions to be taken over by private entities. I mean the best example is the Federal Reserve. There is a private corporation that has taken the legitimacy to print money from the government and it charges interest on the money it creates to loan to the government when the government could just print the money itself debt-free. The Federal Reserve literally privatized the function of creating money. That worked out real well, don't you think? Business is not always the answer, especially when it's a social function. Somethings just shouldn't be run for personal profit of the few. Just compare the USPS to UPS or FEDEX. It is magnitudes cheaper, it makes enough profit to keep functioning and expanding, it is a quick and reliable service, they pay very well, and have an excellent benefit package. (The government, namely Bush's, passed the law to bankrupt the USPS by financing the retirements for like 75 years or something like that. They purposefully are trying to crush the USPS so that private companies can swoop in and privatize the whole system. You think stamps will still cost less than half a dollar? Don't kid yourself. We can't keep supporting the same mistakes over and over and over and over. Time to learn from history for once.)

P.S.
I'm not arguing against your reasoning in the OP, rather I am trying to show there is no argument for privatization of prisons or any other social function. It doesn't work for the benefit of society. Nuclear energy is another privatized social function. When energy production is privatized, the company will cut costs at every corner. Nuclear plants could have been designed from the get go for thorium (Thanks military!), but even with the uranium fuel cycle they could have been made a million times safer. The problem was that since nuclear is so expensive these companies wouldn't have made any profit, if they would have created these plants to never meltdown or even if they did to never release the radiation. That cost too much money so we have Fukushima's, TMI's, San Onofre's, and on and on. Considering the billions that are just given away from taxpayers to these nuclear companies, it would have been prudent to have them run by the government with altruistic scientists having a goal of only totally safe energy production rather than trying to cut a profit for the company. Ah, nothin like a company man.
edit on 24-4-2012 by KillThePoor because: Clarification.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 10:26 AM
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reply to post by Juggernog
 


a sad state of affairs anyway you look at it. i believe in profit for people,but not profit off of people!
so many people have their lifes ruined just for minor possesion of a harmless plant!
what have we become?!!!



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 10:46 AM
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reply to post by Kali74
 

First I would like to state that my source is me, since I at one time was a GUEST of this company CCA.

This is one of the most corrupt corperation out there. Here is some example....

Example #1. In the state of KY, (at the time of my experience circa 93-01) The state was contracted to pay $3 per inmate per day for food. Through a open records request it was discovered that CCA was actually feeding the inmates (through a contracted industrial catering company also associated with CCA) on just $0.33 per inmate/per day. They were banking the rest as profit, at both the expense of the inmates diets, and the taxpayers wallet.

Example #2. Commissary was owned and operated by CCA.Here's where the scam gets really good as it involves example #1. In order to supplement deficiencies in our diet it was necessary to purchase additional food from the commissary although we were being charged $2.00 for a $0.39 RAMEN NOODLE, $4.00 for a $0.50 Hot Pickle, and $2.00 for a sleeve of saltine crackers

This Article goes into greater depth on just how corrupt these "Private Prisons" are.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 03:01 PM
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reply to post by Kali74
 


i just saw this article today finance.yahoo.com... what a great way to deal w/the poor
throw them into jail for not being able to pay their bills. so, basically, if you have medical emergency, which you have no control over, and you can't pay the bills, you are screwed. and to make it worse, most hospitals send bills to the debt collectors before people have a chance to pay them. they assume that people won't pay, so they send it to the debt collector.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 03:49 PM
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Thank-you everyone for your contributions. I would like to state for those didn't read very far into the OP that my stance is actually against private prisons the question in my title is a bit tongue in cheek.

I would further like to add a question, how can we go about demanding an end to this? These private prison corps. have already "donated" quite a bit to the politicians we would be needing to write to in order to express our concern. So what do we do?



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 04:14 PM
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reply to post by Kali74
 



I'm not sure there is much we can do as long as profits is more important than people, and those very people that prize profits more than people buy our government.

Incentives to make profits over the well being of the people of this country, is our countries biggest problem.
That goes for those that go into government as Head CEO's of large Corporations and Financial Firms.

How do we take that incentive away? Deny and make it illegal for heads of Large Corporations and Financial Firms from running for office? Deny lobbying?

Taking the power away from government and decentralizing it would be a start. No money in DC except for the basics, less taxes from citizens, then the incentive goes away to a greater degree for that avenue anyhow.





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