“Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.” – Henry David Thoreau
What more time-honored practice in the long history of state sponsored servitude than the institutionalization of prisoners? Incarceration for offenses against government laws is a cornerstone for power and survivability of any regime. Prisons may have been hellholes over the centuries, but seldom has the internment of convicted lawbreakers been a growth industry for private profit. It almost makes one wonder exactly who are the crooks. While most hard-pressed citizens want a safe and secure society, few ever give even a passing thought to the insatiable corporatist criminalization of the criminal justice system. Just how many Americans agree with the proposition, if you did the crime, you need to serve the time.
All loyal law and order proponents can take pride in the one area where the imperium of government discipline still ranks first among nations. A Global Research article – The Prison Industry in the United States: Big Business or a New Form of Slavery? – points out some staggering facts.
“There are approximately 2 million inmates in state, federal and private prisons throughout the country. According to California Prison Focus, “no other society in human history has imprisoned so many of its own citizens.” The figures show that the United States has locked up more people than any other country: a half million more than China, which has a population five times greater than the U.S. Statistics reveal that the United States holds 25% of the world’s prison population, but only 5% of the world’s people. From less than 300,000 inmates in 1972, the jail population grew to 2 million by the year 2000. In 1990 it was one million. Ten years ago there were only five private prisons in the country, with a population of 2,000 inmates; now, there are 100, with 62,000 inmates. It is expected that by the coming decade, the number will hit 360,000, according to reports.”
Just imagine the hidden solution to the high unemployment economy is staring in our faces without even a hint of public reaction. The ultimate entrepreneurial partnership allows for corporate security firms to house government dissenters or rebellious non-conformers.
“Private prisons are the biggest business in the prison industry complex. About 18 corporations guard 10,000 prisoners in 27 states. The two largest are Correctional Corporation of America (CCA) and Wackenhut, which together control 75%. Private prisons receive a guaranteed amount of money for each prisoner, independent of what it costs to maintain each one. According to Russell Boraas, a private prison administrator in Virginia, “the secret to low operating costs is having a minimal number of guards for the maximum number of prisoners.” The CCA has an ultra-modern prison in Lawrenceville, Virginia, where five guards on dayshift and two at night watch over 750 prisoners. In these prisons, inmates may get their sentences reduced for “good behavior,” but for any infraction, they get 30 days added – which means more profits for CCA.”
The dramatic increases in prison population are not from violent convicts or rapists and killers. The majority of offense categories are property, drug and especially public-order related. The goal of social rehabilitation is a quaint concept of another era. The pretense of reclamation from a conviction of prosecutorial discretion is a standard that few DA’s or judges ever consider. Sentencing guidelines are based upon retribution and punishment, in order to keep the prisons filled with a growing number of new inmates. The supposition is that if you are charged with a crime, the suspect will plea bargain or the jury will follow the directions of the government and convict.
For 2011, the US Department of Justice reported a 93% conviction rate. Such a record implies a culture of criminalization or a hard road for an innocent suspect to navigate. No wonder, the private company screws are such staunch supporters of the transgression and disorder society.
The video, Private prisons – the most profitable real estate in the US? – provides a distressing analysis of the consequences of incentivizing revenue return motivated companies as the jailer overseers.
From the report Prison Labor and Crime in the U.S. – Industry, Privatization, Inmate Facts and Stats – Prison Industries and Inmate Labor – section:
“Many companies are now directly involved in some form of profiting off of incarceration or the labor of inmates. Since 1980 when there was only one prison industry operating as a privatized entity, there are now thirty eight states and at least five county jails with privatized prison industry productions or factory operations. Together state and federal factories now number over three hundred nationwide with between six hundred thousand and one million inmates working in some form of manufacturing or services. Hundreds of companies using inmate labor for manufacturing, services and other duties are now partnered with these operations. This is done under the federal Prison Industries Enhancement Certification Program (PIECP) under 18 USC 1761(c).
Clearly companies, businesses and corporations have become heavily invested in, and dependent upon incarceration for cheap labor and profit. In 2009 total sales of prisoner made products totaled $2.4 billion. Some research places that figure as high as $5 billion and this is in addition to the “prison industry” figure of $34 billion used previously.”
Another RT video details the Prison labor booms in US as low-cost inmates bring billions. Is society really safer from the dramatic increase in the prison population, or is this method of crowding a growing herd of cheap labor simply a strategy to enrich politically connected companies?
As the rapid implosion of the economy accelerates, the prospect of even greater numbers of government prosecutions will surely increase. How many Jean Valjean’s are there in Les Misérables penal confines baking bread?
Now if you are sympathy challenged and are as hard as the rocks that need to be broken, why is the political class virtually exempt from accountability. Remember the once popular bumper sticker; “I’ll Buckle Up When Ted Bundy Does”. Well, no compassion for a serial killer is certainly understandable and proper.
However, where is the justice when a professional bankster felon like Jon Corzine skates after his crimes in the MF Global theft? The rules for ex Goldman Sacks predators allows for financing publicly traded private jail companies, but are exempt of ever working on the assembly line making license plates. What is next: a hedge fund totally devoted to the management of a privatized infrastructure of FEMA camps.
Michael Snyder writes in The Economic Collapse article, Private Prisons: The More Americans They Put Behind Bars The More Money They Make.
“If you can believe it, three of the largest private prison companies have spent approximately $45,000,000 combined on lobbying and campaign contributions over the past decade.
Just look at what has happened to the U.S. prison population over the past several decades. Prior to 1980, there were virtually no private prisons in the United States. But since that time, we have seen the overall prison population and the private prison population absolutely explode.
For example, between 1990 and 2009 the number of Americans in private prisons grew by about 1600 percent.
Overall, the U.S. prison population more than quadrupled between 1980 and 2007.”
Hard core criminals that violate civic community standards and endanger public safety should pay a price for their transgressions. Conversely, political prisoners that challenge the crony corruption within the governmental hierarchy do not deserve a sentence in a sweatshop.
With the abandonment of a police ethic that was dedicated to keeping the peace for an apparatus of law enforcement for arbitrary and dishonest statutes, which only serve the privileged elites; our society is sentenced to a death penalty. Slavery was eliminated a century ago, right? Thus far, that message has not filtered down to the penal plantation. An inmate deserves the solitude of solitary confinement.
The most effective private prison is the one that interns the personal guilt of wicked deeds. If public officials would act upon the moral judgments of their conscience, the perversion within the laws that they pass, adjudicate or administer, would exempt or reduce the unequal application of legitimate legislation, now deemed as criminal acts.
Human nature being what it is; evil acts are instinctive within malevolent souls. Accepting a corrosive punitive system, that enriches private companies, is a horrible departure that prison is a valid tool that protects society. The most dangerous and violent forfeit their social freedom by their predatory actions. However, the sheer numbers of confined prisoners does not justify a structure that exploits a captured population for forced labor.
Do we really need to criminalize society as the price to coexist in the era of Guantanamo justice? America once strived to maintain a balance among competing factions. Today there are only Statists that absolve government transgressions as acceptable and the dissenters that are now in the sights for retribution and eventual arrest. The criminalization of citizens for capricious infractions is the sign of a doomed society. When the hacks patrol the halls to enforce proper public behavior, the entire country becomes a prison.