This is a great opportunity to explain why our nation’s prison system is a failure on every level. So you know a lot about prison I bet you watch a lot of PBS documentaries huh I guess you’re right I do like firsthand knowledge. Oh maybe you can help me do this episode, sure nothing better to do.
America’s prison system is a total mess whatever purpose you think it serves, they aren’t doing it. Well the point of prison is to reduce crime, definitely not doing that. There are 2.2 million people incarcerated in the US 10 times more than 50 years ago. Two million is more than the population of some States. Despite this massive increase in the prison population a study conducted by the NYU School of Law found that the effect on the crime rate has been essentially zero. Then why do we lock so many people up.
Well I can’t speak for all prisons but this one is here to make money. You mean someone is profiting from all this yep these guys are Corrections Corporation of America. It all started in the tough-on-crime eighties when the war on drugs mainstate and federal prisons were bursting at the scene.
So the Corrections Corporation of America or CCA was born okay hold on you can’t just sell prisons like their cars or real estate or hamburgers. Now why don’t you tell that to Tom Beasley the co-founder of CCA who once said you just sell prisons like you were selling cars, a real estate or hamburger and they rake in a ton of scratch. Last year CCA took in 1.7 billion dollars.
Well you know maybe it’s okay because they’re saving the taxpayer money, sorry the sales pitch was wrong the data shows that private prisons cost the taxpayers just as much as regular prisons and today nearly one-fifth of federal prisoners are held in a for-profit facility.
One study showed that private prisons dole out twice as many fractions as government prison. Having enough infractions that’s an infraction. These penalties can lift your sentence which was the company even more cash. So the more people that are in prison the more money they make cool that’s dirty.
Yep that’s why private prisons sneak occupancy clauses into their contracts which actually require States to keep prisons full. Last year a private prison in Arizona didn’t make their ninety-seven percent capacity quota so the State government had to pay them a three-million-dollar fine.
Fine like that incentivize cash-strapped states to keep people in prison as long as possible. Your parole forms are in order and you’ve been a model prisoner so we’re going to lock your back up. We really can’t afford to pan on a fine. That’s reprehensible, look not all prisons are private prisons but this one is not, so no its purpose isn’t to stop crime. Can’t believe all this has been happening and I didn’t even know, I think I’ve never thought about prison like at all.