Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Private prison companies seeking to expand

Losing money on your prisons? Don't worry Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) is looking to invest. The Corrections Investment Initiative is out to help state's balance their budget by buying up state prisons.

Of course the CCA makes certain demands on their partners such as:""An assurance by the agency partner [the state] that the agency has sufficient inmate population to maintain a minimum 90 percent occupancy rate over the term of the contract." However, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world and many prisons are so crowded that prsioners need to be released as in California. Incarceration is a growth industry.

There are more under correctional supervision in the U.S. than were imprisoned during the Stalin Gulag era in the Soviet Union. There are more than six million Americans under correctional supervision.

Over the last ten years the two biggest players in the private prison area CCA and the GEO group have doubled their annual revenue. CCA noted:"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." So lets keep up the war on drugs and harsh penalties for criminal activities. It is good for our profits.

For much much more see the whole article here. Canada is trying to catch up with the U.S. in becoming harsher on crime and incaracerating more but so far we have yet to introduce private prisons. As the expenses mount nodoubt our Conservative government will no doubt try to sell Canadians on the virtues of privatization.

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