THE PRIVATIZED POLICE STATE: YOU GO TO PRISON – THEY GET PAID

Posted: January 10, 2013 in by John Dilligent
Tags: , , ,

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In early February of 2012, it emerged that the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) had sent a letter to 48 states offering to take their prisons off their hand in exchange for a quick infusion of cash. The only small catch was that the states would have to sign a contract guaranteeing 90% occupancy of those prisons for the next 20 years.

Unlike a hotel, a private prison cannot sell its services directly to its customers. The power to hold a person against their will is a power that state alone enjoys (for the time being, anyway), so for private prison companies to continue to grow, they need the state to send as many customers their way as possible. To ensure this customer base never dries up, they have to convince society that maintaining high levels of incarceration is in our best interests – not despite the fact that there is profit to be made from depriving individuals of their liberty, but because of it.

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Eden Texas Welcome Sign

Eden is aptly named, it’s the ultimate fascist paradise, with half the population corrupt “keepers”, and the other half the helpless “kept”…

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Society for the most part has been more than willing to play along. For decades now, many small towns across America that fell on hard times were only too happy to embrace the prison industry as their economic salvation. The CCA’s website features an article from the Texas Monthly magazine, entitled: Yes in my Back Yard: How Eden learned to stop worrying and love its private prison, about one such town called Eden, which is apparently besotted with its CCA-owned detention center. While the CCA has become one of the leading local employers, the article cheerfully notes that “At least half the town’s 2,500 residents live behind bars.”

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Girls in Prison Cell

What are ya in for? … “The apple I gave my teacher turned out to have a worm in it, I swear I didn’t know!” How about you? … “I forgot to look both ways before crossing the street, I didn’t notice the surveillance camera!” And you? What’s your story? … “My library books were overdue again; I didn’t know they had a ‘three strikes and you’re out’ law!”

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The half of the town that is behind bars didn’t get to weigh in with their feelings about what it’s like to live in a prison town. Presumably, for them, Eden is no paradise. But the town’s free citizens, many of whom have jobs in the prison, will not hear a bad word said against it.

The nature of the work did not seem to bother anyone too much, apart from the admission that the town still loses young people who, apparently, don’t grow up dreaming of a prison job. All in all, though, the Texas Monthly reports so much enthusiasm about the prison that one can’t help considering the possibility that Eden may have hit on the economic model of the future whereby one half of the town is behind bars and the other half is gainfully employed to keep them that way. What’s not to like?

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Female Prison Guards

Why are these women smiling? Well, when you can “strip and cavity search” the hottest little honeys in town at will, get your clit sucked for the price of approving a visitation or overlooking a little contraband, and turn over every carton of cigarettes you buy at Walmart at $30 each for a whopping $300 in return, wouldn’t you be grinning too?

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The CCA, Geo Group Inc., and other private prison companies would certainly be thrilled if more of us would embrace incarceration as the growth industry of the future. The problem is that, as an industry, it seems to have peaked. Half the states last year reported declining prison populations. That should be welcomed as good news, but for the many towns that, like Eden, hitched their economic well-being to the prison bandwagon, it’s a disaster. Particularly, when it turns out that because of how the prison-building deals were financed and structured, it is the town – and not the private prison company – that takes the hit when there’s a downturn in the industry.

In 2000, the town of Littlefield, Texas borrowed $10m to build the Bill Clayton Detention Center, which was operated by the for-profit GEO Group Inc. For nearly eight years, the prison did well (in financial terms, that is), and employed around 100 people. Then, in 2009, in the wake of several scandals involving inmate mistreatment and suicide, the state of Idaho withdrew all of the inmates they had sent there, leaving the prison with a lot of empty beds. Shortly afterwards, GEO announced it was pulling out, too. And so, the town was left to pick up the tab.

This meant that, every month, the small town had to come up with $65,000 to pay off the note on the prison. Finally, last July, inhabitants held an auction and managed to find a buyer willing to pay $6m for the prison – just over half what they paid for it.

There are many other towns that have suffered Littlefield’s fate, and there is a growing sense that the prison bubble may be about to burst, if it hasn’t already. But the CCA may well prevail in their attempt to grow their business by buying up state prisons. They only need to convince enough of the right people that an expanding prison population is not a relentless drain on our economic resources, but an essential component of our public safety and economic well-being. So far, it seems, plenty of us have been quite happy to buy that. (Sources: The UK Guardian)

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Comments
  1. Hey Roy,

    They call it corporatism…

    We fight it here every day.

    And every day it just gets
    a little worse…

    John

  2. Roy Mcdade says:

    This “paid for prison time” is just another facet of how deeply our govt is on the take with BIG PRIVATE CORPORATIONS…It is part of the scheme to Industrialize and profit from crime…. WHETHER YOU ARE GUILTY OR NOT….

  3. Hey,

    You’re not interrupting anything.

    I haven’t been purposely ignoring you,
    just feeling really bad the last couple
    of days and it has made it really hard
    to get anything accomplished.

    I will watch the video. Thanks for send-
    ing it in. And thank you for your contin-
    uing support.

    I don’t mean to rain on your parade, but
    all of this is really old news. It’s just that
    when I post it up today, it draws attention
    to it all over again today, and also the
    attention of those who’d remained in
    the dark up ’til now.

    This kind of thing’s been going on for
    a long time. It’s nothing new. If there’s
    anything more corrupt than a public pri-
    son — and that’s extremely difficult to pull
    off — it would have to be a private prison.

    Public prisons are for-profit enterprises
    as well, and that’s not even counting the
    ubiquitous schemes and scams which
    abound in such a fertile environment, a
    lot of them amount to no more than legal-
    ized slave-labor camps, with prosecutors
    out for a body count in order to fill up
    the farms and the sweatshops.

    John

  4. upaces88 says:

    Apologize for interrupting…I wanted you to see this. It just came in.
    This is a very disturbing video with only a couple of examples of our fed gov’t raiding small businesses over taxes?? THIS IS VERY SCARY. The gestapo gov’t is here! Why isn’t this being exposed more by the media? You really have to watch this. 40-60 federal agents raid a bottled water manufacturing plant over taxes & the whole experience was horrific for any American to endure. Apparently there are many more of these raids that are taking place all to frequently. The federal government needs to be exposed for their actions each and every time this happens. Americans need to understand how close we are to communist practices and socialism!
    http://www.rampantinjustice.com/

  5. upaces88 says:

    Roy, it is just to wide open for the temptation for $$ corruption.

  6. upaces88 says:

    There is just a HUGE temptation if there are those in the “court system” to either have stock options; the possibility of $ under the table….It is just too wide open for the slightest tempation for corruption.

  7. tthan43 says:

    I have dealt with CCA up close and very personal. They are a corrupt, greedy, criminal organization who exists solely to imprison people and nothing else. It is a hideous organization and should be one of the first greedy, liberal organizations that is exterminated.

  8. upaces88 says:

    In other words, they had o MAKE SURE that an “X” amount of people were found guilty so their profit making enterprise for their own personal gain was successful!

  9. upaces88 says:

    Of course, it was ONLY a movie on TV…but the subject matter they covered is that people were being sent to prison to drive up their revenue.

    THIS IS A VERY VERY BAD IDEA!!

  10. Roy Mcdade says:

    OUTRAGEOUS…..This is proof that Big Corporations are in control not only of our Judicial system. but our govt as a whole…..

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