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 How Private Prisons are Using the Drug War to Generate More 
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Post How Private Prisons are Using the Drug War to Generate More
PolicyMic wrote:
War on Drugs: How Private Prisons are Using the Drug War to Generate More Inmates

It is customary for American politicians and the media to publicly scold and criticize other countries for their human rights abuses and authoritarianism. But more often than that, the crimes U.S. officials have committed are just as bad, if not worse, than those they are chastising. Aggressive wars, sanctions, and torture instantly come to mind, but even less discussed has been the establishment of a prison-industrial-complex in the U.S.

Nowhere is this complex more evident than in Casa Grande, Arizona, where on Halloween a local high school was held on "lock down" for a drug sweep conducted by employees of Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the largest private prison company in the country.

CCA is just one of many private prison companies operation in the county. All over America states are increasingly relying on private prisons to do their dirty work, turning a flawed and corrupt system of justice into an even worse form of punishment based upon profit and expediency. Companies like CCA are thriving on this, lobbying for proposals in almost every single state to buy and run state prisons. In exchange, the prisons would have to contain at least 1,000 beds and maintain at least a 90% occupancy rate.

Obviously, the incentives of this system lead to more arrests for very minor offenses, crimes with which the private prisons thrive on. Corporations like these are also very involved in pushing for three-strike laws and laws that make it very difficult to reduce the length of sentences for good behavior.

It should not be surprising, however, to learn that private prisons are on the rise in America. After all, the U.S. has the infamous distinction of having the most people behind bars, on parole, or probation. Not just per capita, but more than China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and the rest of the countries U.S. politicians like to lecture. In fact, there are more Americans locked up than the Soviets had in their gulags.

How could this be? Are Americans extraordinarily violent criminals? According to the FBI, violent crime has actually been on the decline for the last few decades.Throughout American history, the amount of prisoners per 100,000 people has remained about 100 to 110. But since 1980, the incarceration rate has nearly tripled, and is now almost 800.

Most of this increase can be traced to the federal government's misnamed "war on drugs" that was put into overdrive beginning in the Reagan administration. As the incarceration rate numbers show, it really is a war on people and has been by far the biggest reason for government encroachment on our civil liberties and the increased prison population. Combine the drug war with a merger of state and corporate power, and you have the rise of private prisons eager to profit off of caging people.

Poor and minority neighborhoods also bear the biggest brunt of this complex, as even though drug use among blacks is about the same as whites, the former are jailed at a disproportionately higher rate than whites. It is an absolute shame that those who claim to defend the interests of blacks and minorities are absolutely silent on the damage that the drug war has done (apologies to Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams).

As Adam Copnik notes in his great exposé on America's shameful prison state, "Mass incarceration on a scale almost unexampled in human history is a fundamental fact of our country today — perhaps the most fundamental fact, as slavery was the fundamental face of 1850. In truth, there are more black men in the grip of the criminal-justice system — in prison, on probation, or on parole — than were in slavery then."

And while the drug war deserves a huge portion of the blame for the growth of corporate jailing monsters like CCA, there is also the fact nearly every single aspect of American life is politicized and criminalized. It's hard to think of any part of the economy or our personal lives that aren't subject to detailed regulation and rules, all of which are supposed to be rigorously memorized (ignorance of the law is no excuse!), and backed up by the state's threat or application of force.

Federal regulations and the tax code are so long, complex, and all encompassing that criminal defense and civil liberties litigator Harvey Silvergate estimates that the average American commits three felonies a day! Laws in the hand of the state, as Pierre-Joseph Proudhoun said, are "spider webs for the rich and mighty, steel chains for the poor and weak, fishing nets in the hands of the government."

With the drug war and the politicization of nearly every minutiae of American life, it's no wonder there are corporations merging with the state eager to profit off of those caught in these nets.

An easy solution to this would be the abolition of the drug war and the burning of the Federal Register, but this obviously will not be happening anytime soon. More than anything it is a cultural one as well. Like all political questions and problems, it fundamentally boils down to whether we will attempt to solve it by defending and applying individual liberty or by using force, coercion, control, and cages.

A society that accepts the premise that the state has the authority to wage a "war on drugs" and impose thousands upon thousands of coercive dictates (that it itself, of course, it not obligated to obey) should not be surprised to see their country turned into one giant, for-profit prison.

http://www.policymic.com/articles/20186 ... re-inmates
Interesting article.
Quote:
Not just per capita, but more than China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and the rest of the countries U.S. politicians like to lecture. In fact, there are more Americans locked up than the Soviets had in their gulags.
Quote:
Throughout American history, the amount of prisoners per 100,000 people has remained about 100 to 110. But since 1980, the incarceration rate has nearly tripled, and is now almost 800.
Quote:
"Mass incarceration on a scale almost unexampled in human history is a fundamental fact of our country today — perhaps the most fundamental fact, as slavery was the fundamental face of 1850. In truth, there are more black men in the grip of the criminal-justice system — in prison, on probation, or on parole — than were in slavery then."
Granted I haven't fact checked these stats, but if true it is, IMO, appalling.

My main reason for posting this, other than me wanting to end the so-called 'War of Drugs', is that I also am against the 'for profit' prison industry. To me, it doesn't seem right that the 'state' can convict your, then hand you over to a private corp to make money off of you; especially when the contracts specify occupancy rates.
Quote:
In exchange, the prisons would have to contain at least 1,000 beds and maintain at least a 90% occupancy rate.


Let's also not forget that the money being paid to CCA and the like come from us, the American taxpayer.

Ok, I'm sure someone will spin this as me being 'anti-Capatlist' or for 'big govt', so let's hear it. Fire away! 8)

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December 6th, 2012, 1:55 pm
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Post Re: How Private Prisons are Using the Drug War to Generate M
TheRealWags wrote:
Quote:
"Mass incarceration on a scale almost unexampled in human history is a fundamental fact of our country today — perhaps the most fundamental fact, as slavery was the fundamental face of 1850. In truth, there are more black men in the grip of the criminal-justice system — in prison, on probation, or on parole — than were in slavery then."
Granted I haven't fact checked these stats, but if true it is, IMO, appalling.

My main reason for posting this, other than me wanting to end the so-called 'War of Drugs', is that I also am against the 'for profit' prison industry. To me, it doesn't seem right that the 'state' can convict your, then hand you over to a private corp to make money off of you; especially when the contracts specify occupancy rates.
Quote:
In exchange, the prisons would have to contain at least 1,000 beds and maintain at least a 90% occupancy rate.


Let's also not forget that the money being paid to CCA and the like come from us, the American taxpayer.

Ok, I'm sure someone will spin this as me being 'anti-Capatlist' or for 'big govt', so let's hear it. Fire away! 8)


Wags, 1) the numbers aren't accurate, but even still why do you let the manner in which their painted effect you? It's stupid, and they mean nothing. They're completely arbitrary. There were 23,000,000 people in the U.S. in 1850, 3,000,000 of which were slaves. There are only 2.4 million people locked up in prison in total as of 2009, and there's no reason to believe that number has grown significantly. What makes the claims in the article even more appalling is that less than 40% of those prisoners are black, meaning less than HALF of the amount of slaves we had in 1850 are currently housed in prisons, while the population in the U.S. has grown 1,000%.

40% may seem ridiculously high, but look at the total percentage of the Black population that is currently in prison: it's between 2%-4.8% from the best of my numbers. Further, if you adjust the numbers to account for socioeconomic status, they look even more "equal."


2) Sure, prisons are popular and profitable. Some may find it disgusting that some people profit off of these institutions, but the problem is... They do it cheaper! And that's the bottom line. Privately ran institutions are generally more humane, and cheaper to run and house prisoners. Do away with them? Why?


December 6th, 2012, 2:27 pm
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Post Re: How Private Prisons are Using the Drug War to Generate M
wjb21ndtown wrote:
Wags, 1) the numbers aren't accurate, but even still why do you let the manner in which their painted effect you? It's stupid, and they mean nothing. They're completely arbitrary. There were 23,000,000 people in the U.S. in 1850, 3,000,000 of which were slaves. There are only 2.4 million people locked up in prison in total as of 2009, and there's no reason to believe that number has grown significantly.
Bureau of Justice Statistics wrote:
There were 6.98 million offenders under the supervision of the adult correctional systems at year end 2011 , a decrease of more than 98,900 offenders during the year (figure 1). The adult correctional systems supervise offenders in the community under the authority of probation or parole agencies and those held in the custody of state and federal prisons or local jails.

http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/cpus11.pdf
Are you counting just those in prison, or, as the article states, are you counting those
Quote:
in prison, on probation, or on parole
Further, look at the rater per 100,000 u.s. adult residents:
Code:
U.S. adult residents supervised by the adult correctional systems, 2000–2011
Year number per 100,000 u.s. adult residents   u.s. adult residents under correctional supervision—
2000 3,060 1 in 33
2001 3,080 1 in 32
2002 3,120 1 in 32
2003 3,150 1 in 32
2004 3,170 1 in 32
2005 3,160 1 in 32
2006 3,190 1 in 31
2007 3,210 1 in 31
2008 3,160 1 in 32
2009 3,090 1 in 32
2010 2,990 1 in 33
2011 2,920 1 in 34

Code:
Number of inmates in local jails, by characteristic 2011
White: 329,400
Black: 276,400
Hispanic: 113,900

http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/jim11st.pdf
More info can be found here: http://sentencingproject.org/doc/public ... _sheet.pdf


wjb21ndtown wrote:
2) Sure, prisons are popular and profitable. Some may find it disgusting that some people profit off of these institutions, but the problem is... They do it cheaper! And that's the bottom line. Privately ran institutions are generally more humane, and cheaper to run and house prisoners. Do away with them? Why?
Simply stated:
Quote:
In exchange, the prisons would have to contain at least 1,000 beds and maintain at least a 90% occupancy rate.
What do you think happens when the state has a requirement to ensure a certain number of beds are occupied?

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December 6th, 2012, 4:51 pm
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Post Re: How Private Prisons are Using the Drug War to Generate M
TheRealWags wrote:
wjb21ndtown wrote:
Wags, 1) the numbers aren't accurate, but even still why do you let the manner in which their painted effect you? It's stupid, and they mean nothing. They're completely arbitrary. There were 23,000,000 people in the U.S. in 1850, 3,000,000 of which were slaves. There are only 2.4 million people locked up in prison in total as of 2009, and there's no reason to believe that number has grown significantly.
Bureau of Justice Statistics wrote:
There were 6.98 million offenders under the supervision of the adult correctional systems at year end 2011 , a decrease of more than 98,900 offenders during the year (figure 1). The adult correctional systems supervise offenders in the community under the authority of probation or parole agencies and those held in the custody of state and federal prisons or local jails.

http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/cpus11.pdf
Are you counting just those in prison, or, as the article states, are you counting those
Quote:
in prison, on probation, or on parole
Further, look at the rater per 100,000 u.s. adult residents:
Code:
U.S. adult residents supervised by the adult correctional systems, 2000–2011
Year number per 100,000 u.s. adult residents   u.s. adult residents under correctional supervision—
2000 3,060 1 in 33
2001 3,080 1 in 32
2002 3,120 1 in 32
2003 3,150 1 in 32
2004 3,170 1 in 32
2005 3,160 1 in 32
2006 3,190 1 in 31
2007 3,210 1 in 31
2008 3,160 1 in 32
2009 3,090 1 in 32
2010 2,990 1 in 33
2011 2,920 1 in 34

Code:
Number of inmates in local jails, by characteristic 2011
White: 329,400
Black: 276,400
Hispanic: 113,900

http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/jim11st.pdf
More info can be found here: http://sentencingproject.org/doc/public ... _sheet.pdf


wjb21ndtown wrote:
2) Sure, prisons are popular and profitable. Some may find it disgusting that some people profit off of these institutions, but the problem is... They do it cheaper! And that's the bottom line. Privately ran institutions are generally more humane, and cheaper to run and house prisoners. Do away with them? Why?
Simply stated:
Quote:
In exchange, the prisons would have to contain at least 1,000 beds and maintain at least a 90% occupancy rate.
What do you think happens when the state has a requirement to ensure a certain number of beds are occupied?


Given that the state supplies the product, nothing. The state controls how many people they give to the prison, the prison doesn't "manufacture" prisoners.


December 6th, 2012, 5:02 pm
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