Saturday, December 18, 2010

For-Profit Prisons Lobby DC

Been reading up on prisoner issues...

The U.S. has 5% of the world's population, but 25% of the world's prisoner population.
   http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/23/us/23prison.html

We should have 5% of the world's prisoner population. We have 25%.  Five times as many as is needed.

Can someone ask why?

I have a sense that the "law and order" crowd of the Reagan era saw punishment as reformative and set some things in motion that grew and grew until they are monsters today.

A person should be able to ask, "What is the cost to the taxpayer of all this incarceration?"  Conservatives should be concerned about the taxes they are paying to keep people in prison. But maybe they made imprisonment pay for itself?

Does income from prison farms and prison industries make the cost of imprisonment irrelevant?  Being able to lock up people without increasing taxes would be quite a nifty prospect for conservatives, but it forgets the moral imperative that we give extra care for the least of those among us.

And now we have for-profit prisons. Do they have prison industries? What legal envelope allows a for-profit prison? How are they expected to keep increasing their profits?  Any company worth investing in needs to keep increasing its profits so its stock will go up. How do we keep the profit motive from driving the prison industry into driving us into prison?

Jesse Ventura, former wrestler and former governor, just released a video on FEMA internment camps. Munchies for the militia crowd.  There may be general interest, this coming election, in prisoner issues.

For-profit prisons lobby for their industry in Washington.  If for-profit prisons are profiting from prison industries... a monster is upon us.

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