Introduction The proliferation of prison overcrowding has been a rising concern for the U.S. The growing prison population poses considerable health and safety risks to prison staffs and employees, as well as to inmates themselves. The risks will continue to increase if no immediate actions are taken. Whereas fighting proliferation is fundamentally the duty of the U.S. government, prison overcrowding has exposed that the U.S. government will need to take measures to combat the flaws in the prison and criminal justice system. Restructuring the government to combat the danger of prison overcrowding, specifically in California, thus requires reforms that reestablishes the penal codes, increases the state’s budget, and develops
A prison is a building made up of hard, cold, concrete walls and solid steel bars in which individuals, known as inmates, are physically confined and deprived of their personal freedom. This is a legal consequence that is imposed by the government to lawbreakers as a punishment for a crime they have committed and for the protection of the community. A private prison is much like a public prison except people are incarcerated physically by a “for-profit” third party who has been contracted by a government agency. These private prisons enter into an agreement with the government, and the state pays a monthly amount for every prisoner who is confined in the private facility. In both public and private prisons, incarceration cannot be imposed without the commission and conviction of a crime. Even though public and private prisons may seem to be the same in several aspects and are used to serve the same purpose, there are numerous differences between the two. At one point the Obama administration opted to put an end to private prisons; on the other hand, the Department of Homeland Security and current President Donald Trump fought for them to stay in place. The U.S Justice Department and the Bureau of Prisons will realize that keeping private correctional facilities in place is a huge mistake; therefore, will opt to phase out such facilities and will stick to housing inmates in the public state-run prisons.
Today, the private prison industry is big and extremely profitable. The industry is dominated by two large companies, Corrections Corporations of America (CCA) and the GEO group. The annual combined revenues for both companies amount to over $3 billion while their top executives get compensation of over $3 million each. However, the way these companies operate is wholly unethical.
Thesis: Private prisons actually exacerbate many of the issues they were designed to solve by incentivizing increased incarceration, and at the same time they produce lower value than regular prisons while ultimately costing more, such that private prisons should be abolished and incarceration should remain exclusively public.
The Privatization of American Prisons Introduction Since 1984, the California Penal System has been forced to undergo drastic changes resulting from increased legislation aimed at increasing the severity of retribution to offenders leading to an exponentially increasing prison population. In the 132 years between 1852 and 1984, the state of California built twelve prisons, but has since supplemented the prison system with 21 new facilities. In 1977, the California Department of Corrections was responsible for 19,600 inmates. California’s inmate population now stands at 160,655, an increase of close to 800%.
The second major key cost driver is payment for the officers who patrol cellblocks; especially to those who work overtime. Overtime costs in California “topped half a billion dollars in 2006, with 15 percent of the corrections workforce earning at least $25,000 in overtime that year” (Pew Center). Based on the same article there were six employees who earned more than the $212,179 annual salary set aside for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. To help the state from struggling to keep its 33 prisons staffed, Gov. Arnold proposed releasing more than 22,100 inmates before their terms are up. His proposal would save the state $1.1 billion.
They profit by putting people in cages, and are responsible for the prisoners getting harsher sentences than they deserve. The cycle of money and power created by PPC’s is unsustainable: The PPC’s lobby in congress, which allows them to get more money, which allows them to lobby more in congress. This lobbying is worsened as more politicians succumb to the allure of riches and reelection, rather than focusing on their obligation to protect their constituents constitutional and human rights. Politicians like Marco Rubio, who reportedly contracted the large Florida PPC GEO Group to house a majority of Florida’s detained immigrants and prisoners for one hundred and ten million dollars (Cohen). This contract came after Rubio was elected to be Speaker of The House in Florida. Rubio’s campaign to become speaker had received over forty thousand dollars from the GEO group, and Rubio had selected a former trustee of the GEO group to he one of his economic advisers
Abstract Introduction Texas Prison System becomes something from the past, and the private prison system becomes the future due to limited budgets and events? Squaring off the full cost of state prisons in Texas requires accounting for expenditures in all areas of government that support the prison system not merely those within the corrections budget. “Due to supplementary budget to taxpayers can include expenses consolidated for governmental determinations such as employee benefits and capital costs, and services for inmates funded through other agencies. The prison also costs the cost of subversive, contributions to corrections wage earner pensions and retiree health care plans; states must pay the remainder of those contributions in the future.”(n.d.)
By contrast, DHS’s immigration detention program detains around 400,000 people every year. The growth of immigration detention has been astonishing. In 1994, approximately 6,000 noncitizens were detained per day. The daily average had surpassed 20,000 individuals by 2001 and 33,000 by 2008. To manage the growing detainee population, ICE has increasingly turned to contracted facilities such as for-profit prison corporations. This growth has allowed private prison companies such as GEO Group (GEO) and CoreCivic (formerly known as CCA) to significantly profit from labor savings. Private companies are incentivized to cut medical staffing and deny care to maximize shareholder return. Maximizing that return is the primary goal. These companies have managed to accomplish their goal by forcing their detainees to work and upkeep the facilities for little to no pay, saving millions in labor costs. In the year 2012, “GEO brought in an estimated $33 to $72 million in profits.” CCA, estimated profits ranging from “$30 to $77 million, or about 25% of the company’s total profits.” To give some perspective, a facility in Adelanto California, owned and operated by GEO, would pay $109,865 annually in detainee wages at $1 a day. If GEO were to pay the state’s minimum wage, they would be spending $7,910,280 annually in labor. This gives GEO a total savings of
2010 - Hawaii State Auditor said Hawaii Department of Public Safetly “repeatedly misled policymakers and the public by reporting inaccurate incarceration costs.” When Hawaii decided to send inmates to CCA prisons in USA, the Department provided artificial inmate costs and engaged in skewed cost
“According to JPI, the private prison industry uses three strategies to influence public policy: lobbying, direct campaign contributions, and networking. The three main companies have contributed $835,514 to federal candidates and over $6 million to state politicians. They have also spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on direct lobbying efforts. CCA has spent over $900,000 on federal lobbying and GEO spent anywhere from $120,000 to $199,992 in Florida alone during a short three-month span this year.”
These private prison corporations have previously worked corporations, lawmakers and worked with interest groups that advocate for prison privatization through the group American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC is a non profit group that advocates for free markets, limited government, federalism, and individual liberty (Mason, “Too Good to be True”). CCA was a member of this
Many people, since the early 1990s, when the privatization of prisons became popular, have had concerns that these companies would be more worried about profit than the prisoners human rights. Since then, private prisons have only increased in popularity. The original reason private prisons exist are cash strapped states were looking for an alternative to state and federal facilities to incarcerate inmates affordably. It is now a 5 billion industry. Many states pay millions of dollars each year to the private companies. Colorado has the largest number of private prisons in the country. “The state had not saved money by contracting out minimum security beds, and that more money is actually spent on private medium security beds than would be spent in a publicly operated institution.” (Mason) This study, performed in 2010 in Arizona, showed that they were not saving and were actually spending more money on the private facility than the public. The U.S. General Accounting Office, in 1996, went over five different research studies and came to the conclusion that there was no real evidence that prisons for profit saved the government and the general public money. Private
2. “Jerry Brown planned a 1.2 billion dollars over 3 years to rent beds in private prison, reopen detension facilities in alifornia, to put more prisoners in county jails.”Dick and Sharon on LAprogressive.com”
Currently, many prisons are beginning to be run by private corporations. If a company is running a prison then they need prisoners to stay in business. Around 1 in every 107 Americans is currently being housed in a prison. The United States has about 5 percent of the world’s population yet 25 percent of its prisoners(ACA, 2008). This is the easiest way to maintain a large prison population is by maintaining the current drug war. The largest private prison company in the United States is Corrections Corp. of America(ACA, 2008). In the last twenty years, CCA has donated nearly $5 million dollars to certain political