Posts Tagged ‘Private Prisons’

U.S. to end contracts with private prisons

August 19, 2016

The U.S. Justice Department yesterday ordered the Federal Bureau of Prisons to end or “substantially reduce” all of its contracts with private prison operators.

Abuses in privately-operated prisons are widespread because the economic incentive is to spend as little as possible on salaries, food, upkeep and other expenses.

This decision by the Obama administration is good news, despite the ambiguity of the phrase “substantially reduce.”   Unfortunately most private prison operations are for state governments.

LINKS

Justice Department says it will end use of private prisons by Mark Zapotosky and Chico Harlan for the Washington Post.

Federal Officials Ignored Years of Internal Warnings About Deaths at Private Prisons by Seth Freed Wessler for The Nation.

My Four Months as a Private Prison Guard by Shane Bauer for Mother Jones.

The Justice Department Is Done With Private Prisons | Will ICE Drop Them Too? by Alice Speri for The Intercept.

Hillary Clinton’s basic conflict of interest

February 15, 2016

What's Not Happening In Hillary's MeetingsHillary Clinton asks her supporters to believe that there is no contradiction between accepting big campaign contributions from Wall Street, the private prison industry and the oil and gas industry, and promising to crack down on Wall Street, private prisons, fracking and greenhouse gas emissions.

Hillary Clinton says it is possible to take a donation to an interest group and not be captive to it.  That is true.  But it is harder to ask an interest group for money and still vote against its interests.  In any case, it is something you can only do once, and Clinton has been around for a very long time.

Either her fat-cat donors are being fooled, or her supporters are.  I wouldn’t vote for a candidate based on a hope that he or she is telling me the truth and misleading somebody else.

Hillary Clinton says she hasn’t done anything that President Obama hasn’t done.  That is true.  That is why I voted for Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, when Obama ran for a second term.

(more…)

Why prison privatization is a bad idea

April 24, 2013

beyond-bars

As an example, lobbying by the Corrections Corporation of America helped bring about passage of the Arizona law allowing for arrests of people who can’t produce proof of citizenship.   Click on Private Prisons and the Arizona Anti-Immigration Law for details.

The profitable business of immigration detention

April 17, 2012

This documentary by Al Jazeera English shows how the growing crackdown on unauthorized immigration generates profits for the growing U.S. private prison industry.   The state and federal prison population doubled in the past 20 years, but the number of prisoners in private prisons increased 17-fold.  Prison industry is a profitable business, and includes contracting for the U.S. military.

Immigration detention is a growing part of this.  The American Civil Liberties Union reported that, according to one report, nearly half of immigration detainees are held in private prisons,  versus 6 percent of state convicts and 16 percent of federal convicts.  The Corrections Corporation of America, the largest U.S. private prison corporation in the United States, helped the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) draft Arizona’s 2009 law allowing police to lock up anyone who is without documentation to show they are a citizen or a legal immigrant, and lobbied for it, along with other private prison corporations.

The documentary shows people being held in detention centers for up to a year without a hearing.  I guess the idea is that if they were given a prompt hearing and deported, there would be nothing to discourage them from trying again right away.

I admit I don’t have a good answer to the question of unauthorized immigration.   I think it is intolerable to have a underclass within U.S. borders who are outside the protection of U.S. law, who are at the mercy of unscrupulous employers and government officials.  I don’t think it is feasible to hunt down and deport millions of unauthorized immigrants who are integrated into American society, even if the U.S. were turned into even more of a police state than it now is.   I doubt that the American economic and social structure could handle completely unrestricted immigration.  I don’t think repeated amnesties are the answer.

The implied answer of the champions of immigration rights quoted in the video is a kind of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”  I don’t think that is a good answer, but I don’t have a better one.   All I can say is that I think it is a bad idea to create a powerful vested economic interest whose profits are tied to maintaining the present bad situation.

Click on Banking on Bondage: Private Prisons and Mass Incarceration for an executive summary of the ACLU report.

Click on Immigration is a moral issue and The least bad option on immigration for earlier posts of mine on the unauthorized immigration question.

(more…)