The Corrections Corporation of America sent a letter to 48 states offering to purchase their public prisons if in exchange, the states promised they would continue to provide additional inmates ensuring they remained over 90 percent full.
This begs the question, “What if there aren’t enough inmates?” Will the state be forced to pay a fee, or worse, will they be incentivized to lock up more people? What about prisoners up for parole? Will they be kept in prison to ensure high occupancy rates? So much for fair sentencing and due process.
We’ve been writing about the privatization of prisons and the conflict of interests it promotes for some time now. It’s certainly reasonable to think that companies operating these private prisons would benefit from stricter sentencing guidelines and more draconian laws. The Huffington Post quotes the Corrections Corporation of America’s annual filing:
“The demand for our facilities and services could be adversely affected by the relaxation of enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction or parole standards and sentencing practices or through the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by our criminal laws… For instance, any changes with respect to drugs and controlled substances or illegal immigration could affect the number of persons arrested, convicted, and sentenced, thereby potentially reducing demand for correctional facilities to house them.”
It seems they understand the situation quite clearly, yet the media and the public at large seems unconcerned. The Young Turks have more.