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Does Society Benefit from Private Prison Profiteering

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It is simple math. The goal of a private prison company is profit. More inmates, more $. The Public Interest, an oversight group, issued a report in September revealing the details of prison contracts between private corporations and states and local governments. Corrections Corporation of America and the GEO Group have contracts requiring extremely high occupancy levels. If the prison occupancy declines below the level required in the contract, then the government pays the private company for empty prison beds.

Louisiana, Oklahoma and Virginia have contracts with the highest occupancy guarantee requirements. All three states have quotas requiring between 95% and 100% occupancy. Colorado’s crime rate has dropped almost 33 percent in the past decade. Despite the drop in crime, lock up quotas for three for-profit prisons has forced taxpayers in Colorado to pay an additional $2 million to the private prisons. Arizona has three private prison contracts requiring 100 percent occupancy.

Cell bed quotas are incentives for incarceration. The report shows that the private prison industry has lobbied for laws that increase mandatory minimum sentencing, three strike laws, and stricter drug sentences. All of this effort to maintain or increase the prison population.

The United States has more inmates than any other country. Cell bed quotas and private prison companies contribute to this damning statistic. The American society does not benefit from cell bed quotas and private prison profiteering.

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2 Responses to Does Society Benefit from Private Prison Profiteering

  1. Jane Hummel November 8, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    Ssociety never benefits from profiteering and the fact that private prisons have empty cells is outrageous. The overcrowding issues are alarming but when I private company submits a bid via RFP for 4.5 M for 2 years to service 4 Youth facilities in Northern Illinois for Medical and Psych services and their true costs are 2.5 they get the contract based on political influence, default and take the money and run. There needs to be regulations ad accountability. The company I referenced is true and factual. The systems underutilized available facilities and then mask it with over crowding. The only one who benefits is the private contractor. This needs to be changed.

  2. PrisonPath November 9, 2013 at 2:06 am #

    My experience with private vs public in actually different than most I have read. I understand the concept of making money on incarceration, but the private prison are much better at education, programs, financing programs, and even security in many ways. Obviously there are exceptions, but my experience has been a better environment as a whole.
    By Bro Nathan

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