Private prisons: A special interest lobby

Deedra AbboudUncategorized0 Comments

Private prison corporations, a special interest group, influence our policies well beyond the criminal justice system.

The United States imprisons more people — both per capita and in absolute terms — than any other nation in the world, including Russia, China, and Iran.

The current incarceration system disproportionately affects people of color, fails to reduce recidivism and has at best a minimal effect on public safety.

Nearly half of all immigrants detained by the federal government are placed in private prisons.

Private prisons are huge corporate donors to the governor and legislative campaigns across the country. Former private prison lobbyists often receive high-ranking staff positions in state and county government offices.

The nation’s unprecedented rate of imprisonment wrests loved ones from their families and drains government resources from communities, and taxpayers, all while allowing the private prison industry to reap lucrative rewards.

In 2010, the two largest private prison companies alone received nearly $3 billion dollars in revenue, with top executives receiving annual compensation packages worth well over $3 million.

Despite statements by the Arizona Auditor General that for-profit imprisonment in Arizona may actually cost more than incarceration in publicly-operated facilities, Arizona has continued to award additional prison beds to private prisons.

Human lives are not commodities to be traded on the open market in the United States.

Our elected leaders should be accountable to ‘we the people’ and not create policies that hurt our families, friends, and neighbors for the purpose of rewarding corporate and special interest donors or lining their own pockets.



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