Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

The invisible hand of the market, pushing you into prison

with 3 comments

The market’s invisible hand works much damage—as anyone who as tried to eat a Florida synthetic “tomato” knows. (See: How industrial farming ‘destroyed’ the tasty tomato—fascinating program. Did you know that in Florida they continue to use slave labor to grow tomatoes? That is literally true.) In this case, the invisible hand gathers up Americans—preferably powerless Americans, without political clout or power—and locks them up for a long time so that the private prison industry can grow its profits.

Ed Brayton has a good column on that topic, quoting this report, which begins:

Over the past 15 years, the number of people held in all prisons in the United States has increased by 49.6 percent, while private prison populations have increased by 353.7 percent, according to recent federal statistics. Meanwhile, in 2010 alone, the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and the GEO Group, the two largest private prison companies, had combined revenues of $2.9 billion. According to a report released today by the Justice Policy Institute (JPI), not only have private prison companies benefitted from this increased incarceration, but they have helped fuel it.

Gaming the System: How the Political Strategies of Private Prison Companies Promote Ineffective Incarceration Policies, examines how private prison companies are able to wield influence over legislators and criminal justice policy, ultimately resulting in harsher criminal justice policies and the incarceration of more people. The report notes a “triangle of influence” built on campaign contributions, lobbying and relationships with current and former elected and appointed officials. Through this strategy, private prison companies have gained access to local, state, and federal policymakers and have back-channel influence to pass legislation that puts more people behind bars, adds to private prison populations and generates tremendous profits at U.S. taxpayers’ expense.

“For-profit companies exercise their political influence to protect their market share, which in the case of corporations like GEO Group and CCA primarily means the number of people locked up behind bars,” said Tracy Velázquez, executive director of JPI. “We need to take a hard look at what the cost of this influence is, both to taxpayers and to the community as a whole, in terms of the policies being lobbied for and the outcomes for people put in private prisons. That their lobbying and political contributions is funded by taxpayers, through their profits on government contracts, makes it all the more important that people understand the role of private prisons in our political system.” . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

29 June 2011 at 8:17 am

3 Responses

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  1. This link may be of interest you:

    http://www.psiru.org/justice/ppri63.htm

    Check out the companies that invest in private prisons, Banks and Wall Street brokers, particularly interesting is Wells Fargo investment in the bank that allowed illegal immigrants in the US to get an ID card so they could send money South thereby taking a lot of business away from Western Union.

    As you probably know, the Private Prison Corps are lobbying strongly for individual state and federal proposals to have detention centers for illegal aliens across the country run by them. The very same Bank helping illegals to funnel money South is also actively involved in locking them up.

    I find that with this type of investment structure taking place there is no going back on all Prisons one day being in the hands of Wall Street. So by this one wonders why Drugs continue to be illegal ? Answer: Well if they were legal then the prison population would plummet and investors would suffer.

    Nick

    29 June 2011 at 9:37 am

  2. See the Private run Immigration detention centers in the UK that USA corporate Americans trying to push on us, no wonder there is no solution to immigration in the USA there is to much money involved keep it the way it is, our tax dollars being funneled to Corporate America that is.

    Nick

    29 June 2011 at 10:12 am

  3. If anyone has a family member behind prison walls, it’s astonishing how “small” life on the inside is. He gets two meals a day Friday-Sunday with breakfast served at 3:30a and “dinner” served at 12:15p, just in time to interrupt any family visit — want to eat or want to see your mom? And that doesn’t include the million arbitrary rules of what they cannot have to read, and with the digitization of books and newspapers, there’s no plan in prisons for prisoners to have access to the net or to have e-readers. Oy.

    zaine_ridling

    1 July 2011 at 12:46 am


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