The United States incarcerates more people than any other developed country which means that overcrowding in our prisons has become a major taxpayer concern.
To seemingly ease this burden private prisons have been created which run outside of state control, and are supposed to save money. The real question becomes, are these private prisons really being used to deter or rehabilitate inmates, or:
do the private prisons and the state exploit incarceration for profit?
As explored in the video above there are some key facts that point to a growing problem with for-profit prisons such as:
- States sign guarantee agreements with private prisons to fill a certain number of beds in the prison as quota. A typical quota rate is 90 percent although many prisons require a 100 percent fill promise from the local government. If the state doesn’t fill the quota they are often fined or forced to pay for the empty beds anyways. Critics say this gives the state an incentive to incarcerate more people.
- Violent crime rates are down all across the country so how could prisons remain so full? An amplification of drug crimes seems to be the cause as there are now 11 times more people in jail for drug crimes as there were in 1980, which constitutes 50 percent of the prison population.
- Lobbying efforts by private prisons account for over $45 million in campaign donations a year.
Let us know what you think and share these startling revelations with your friends, we’d love to hear what they think as well!