1:55 pm in Uncategorized by WhyIHateCCA
A recent report by the Arizona Republic, which reviewed audits, correspondence, and interviews from the Department of Corrections reveals that many of the security lapses that led to the escape of 3 murderers from the MTC facility in Kingman last year have not been resolved. In fact, 14 prisons, a mixture of private and state-run ones, suffer from the security flaws that allowed these prisoners to escape and elude the law for weeks, while killing a vacationing elderly couple in the process.
Among the failures in security are “faulty alarm systems, holes under fences big enough to crawl through, and broken perimeter lights and cameras.” The report also found a systemic ignorance of proper security protocols at nearly all the facilities studied.
The amount and extent of these security failures is just staggering, but they come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the industry and its all-consuming drive for profit. By cutting corners in these areas, the private companies that run these prisons put their staff, their prisoners, and the general public at great risk. They continuously fail to live up to contractual obligations because executives at these companies are greedy, despicable people who not only profit from incarcerating people, but do so in such an unscrupulous manner.
The first report to come out on this is linked in the title; another, appearing in the Tuscon Citizen, can be found here.
10:11 am in Uncategorized by WhyIHateCCA
In a fantastic new report titled “Gaming the System,” Paul Ashton at the Justice Policy Institute delves into the seedy world of private prisons and how they have manipulated political systems to ensure a steady flow of prisoners for decades. The natural result of these actions has been a dramatic increase in our incarcerated population that correlates with the advent of modern private prisons.
The report shows that “As revenues of private prison companies have grown over the past decade, the companies have had more resources with which to build political power, and they have used this power to promote policies that lead to higher rates of incarceration.”
10:35 am in Uncategorized by WhyIHateCCA
Florida’s legislature just passed a budget that will privatize the correctional services of 18 counties, basically 20% of its prison population. Though the decision has been criticized by both side of the aisle (the quote I used for the title comes from a Republican legislator, Mike Fasano), and despite the fact that private prisons in Florida, as elsewhere, have a long history of abuse and failure to perform up to contract, the deal went through. Senator Fasano described the claims of cost-savings touted by proponents, including budget chief JD Alexander, as “unconvincing and undocumented.” In fact, Alexander at one point even said he himself was not convinced of the savings, but wanted to privatize a huge portion of the state system as part of an “experiment.”
This is unrestrained Republican ideology in its most logical iteration. Governor Ric Scott and many Republicans in the state legislature, especially JD Alexander, received huge contributions from the GEO Group in campaign contributions. The GEO Group has also spent hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying the Florida legislature in recent years, building a great relationship with conservative legislators. This is nothing but a ploy to divert taxpayer money to corporations. Republicans promote corporate welfare while eschewing individual and social welfare. They label the poor as “lazy” and bitch about their tax dollars going to social welfare programs, while they turn around and give huge tax cuts to the wealthy and subsidies and contracts to private corporations with histories of abuse and negligence, corporations that donate generously to their campaigns and help keep them in office. This is what they do.
The GEO Group utilized 2 of the top 5, and 3 of the top 10 lobbying firms in Florida during the past election cycle to maximize their influence. They have also donated hundreds of thousands to state campaigns, mostly to conservatives and incumbents. So it should come as no surprise that the state has decided to embark on the most ambitious prison privatization scheme in history.
This is conservative economics. This is the face of a country that allows for unlimited corporate contributions to politicians and campaigns. Republicans literally want to dismantle government and turn over government services to the private sector. They want to perpetuate the grossly unequal distribution of wealth and power in this country, because it serves their purposes and interests at the expense of everyone else’s. And I fear this is only the beginning of what will be a huge wave of anti-government, pro-privatization activity that we’re seeing crop up across the country. But people need to realize that government is not the problem. The government is a tool we can use to fix the problems inflicted on society by corporations and their endless greed.
10:34 am in Uncategorized by WhyIHateCCA
Quick link here to a heartbreaking story of a kid who was badly assaulted in a riot at the Walnut Grove YCF in Mississippi, resulting in severe brain damage, and his father’s quest to find answers from the GEO Group, who operates the prison. Very poorly, I might add.
This prison has been described as “the deepest depths of hell.” Situations like this beg the question of what do we really want from a criminal justice system. Do we want a system that sells off correctional services to the highest bidder? Do we want a system in which human lives and freedom are nothing but commodities? Can anyone suggest that outsourcing correctional services to a private corporation whose primary and secondary goals are both profit, is a good idea? Can anyone tell me that these children, CHILDREN, deserve to suffer like this?
It’s a shame and it saddens me to know that, of all places, the United States subjects its own citizens to torture like this, all so that some big corporate greedy assholes can make a few bucks. This is beyond despicable. It’s embarrassing. There is absolutely no excuse for our elected leaders to subject people to situations like this.