Pros And Cons Of Prison Privatization

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Our nation, based on the principle of freedom, incarcerates of 1% of our nation’s population; that is 2.2 Million Americans, and one out of every one hundred people. America has the largest prison population in the world. Yes, higher than dictatorships and military states. Prison privatization is a major issue for many important reasons. However, it is an issue that is completely overlooked and unknown in the rhetoric of our nation. Private prison corporations can influence our government and lawmakers into making and enforcing stricter laws on us, the citizens, and make life difficult for those in the prison system, their families and those who work there. Privatized prisons are taking any steps necessary towards a profit by lobbying our government, …show more content…
The Department of Corrections, a government system, has been subjected to the corporate world. Corrections Corp of America and GEO group are the two major corporations actively pursuing ownership and controlling America’s prisons. Correction Corp owns over 60 facilities and houses 70,000 prisoners including detention centers for illegal immigrants.(CCA) Geo Group has a total of 66 facilities and houses 73,473 inmates.(GEO) The current era of prison privatization began in the 1980s at a time when prison populations were greatly increasing and overcrowding became an issue due to the War on Drugs. During this time CCA took this opportunity in 1984 to establish itself with its first for contract prison in Tennessee and has been growing and lobbying for their interests ever since. Although research has shown that the cost savings in contracting out or prisons is little to none we continue the practice(Reid, 2014). CCA and GEO group advertise the industry as a growing $70 billion dollar gold mine with room to grow. (Mukherjee, 2015). We are paying a flat rate on each prisoner to these corporations with our tax dollars. According to AZcentral in 2010 the department of corrections found that private prisons were costing the state $57.97 as opposed to $60.66 in state run prison. However, when adjusted for the high medical costs the result is reversed. Public prison costs $48.42 and private prison costs $53.02 per day, per …show more content…
Each prison must have at least 1,000 beds for a 20 year contract term (Kroll 2013).The problem with these private contracts is it causes increased harshness and frequency of sentencing because state governments do not want to lose their contracts. Although crime is down to levels not seen since the early 70s, and currently 33% lower since the spike in the 90s, the prison population is only increasing (FBI, 2013). Instead of focusing on reducing the crime rate, the judicial system must maintain the prison population to keep contractual occupancy rates. Since the advent of private prisons we have seen tougher sentencing for individuals in the justice system. Corporations such as the CCA have lobbied for the three strike laws, which make mandatory sentences of 25 years to life for more than one felony committed and “truth in sentencing” laws, making law that those serving sentences server the full or almost full sentence with little room for reducing sentence with work or behavior. More prisoners equal more profits for anyone involved in the private prison industry. For instance, a single payphone makes $15,000 a year and all inmate calls generate more than a billion dollars in revenue a year (Schlosser, 1998). There are also examples of gross injustice and scandals due to this system. The

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