There has long been a misconception in the U.S. that crime has been on the rise. However, the truth is quite different.
For some time now, crime rates have been falling. At the same time, incarceration rates have been rising — a non sequitur which should lead people to question this phenomenon. Instead they just assume that there is more crime which would account for the rising prison populations..
The for-profit prison industry is a multi-billion dollar business. The two largest companies providing prisons to the federal and many state governments took in a total of $3.3 billion in 2011, at the same time providing facilities which are sub-standard and shouldn’t even be allowed to house farm animals.
In privately run facilities there is a much higher rate of inmate on inmate assaults, murders and rapes than in comparably-sized government facilities. There is also significantly higher numbers of abuse by correctional personnel in these prisons.
How is all of this happening? It’s because they spend lots of money to ensure a steady supply of prisoners by opposing any relaxation in laws criminalizing essentially victimless activities, such as marijuana use.
Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the largest of these companies, spent $17.4 million from 2001 to 2011 in lobbying efforts and handed out $1.9 million in political contributions from 2003 to 2012.
GEO Group, Inc. the second largest of these companies spent $2.5 million on lobbying between 2004 and 2012 with another $2.9 million handed out in political contributions.
CCA has offered to buy existing prisons in some states as long as the state guarantees them a steady supply of prisoners to keep all beds filled, that is not imprisonment for the purpose of exacting justice, that is imprisonment for the purpose of extracting a profit at the expense of other human beings.
This is no small problem, in Pennsylvania two judges have been convicted of accepting bribes totaling $2.6 million from sister companies PA Childcare and Western PA Childcare, in exchange for sentencing children to their facilities. These children often appeared without benefit of counsel after being told by the probation department that their offenses were so minor that they would not need any legal representation.
The video below only scratches the surface but will disgust anyone who is actually human.