There is something terribly wrong with America...
Published December 5th 2013
Today, in the U.S., there are privately owned for-profit prisons that contractually require states to maintain a certain number of prisoners. If prison populations fall below the agreed upon quota, there are fines the states have to pay to these prison corporations.
You can even invest in for-profit prison corporations, or the partnership corrections industry, as they prefer to be called.
One such company is Corrections Corporation of America, or CCA for short, which is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CXW. Started in 1983, the Corrections Corporation of America was the first for-profit prison company.
The more prisoners a facility holds, the more profitable the corporation is. That is good for stockholders, but not for the rest of the citizens of America.
In their 2010 annual report, CCA wrote, “Historically, we have been successful in substantially filling our inventory of available beds and the beds that we have constructed. Filling these available beds would provide substantial growth in revenues, cash flow, and earnings per share.”
In 2012, CCA, the largest for-profit prison company in the United States, sent a letter to 48 state governors offering to buy their public prisons. CCA offered to operate state prisons in exchange for a 20-year contract that included a guarantee from the governors that the prisons would be at least 90 percent filled for the entire term. In other words, taxpayers had to agree to a 90 percent “lockup quota” or else have to pay for empty prison beds.
Thankfully, no governor took CCA up on this particular offer. But unfortunately for U.S. taxpayers, and for the very idea of justice, “lockup quotas” are already a very common occurrence in contracts between state and local governments and private prison companies. According to a new study from In the Public Interest (ITPI), a comprehensive resource center on the outsourcing of public services to for-profit corporations, 65 percent of private prison contracts that we studied contain these quotas…
Recent Video News Reports
Taxpayers Pay For Empty Cells At For-Profit Prisons
Private, or for-profit prisons, are supposed to be more cost-efficient and safer than government-run facilities. But lower crime means lower profits for these private prisons, and it’s up to taxpayers to foot the bill of empty beds because of a “Prison Bed Occupancy Guarantees Clause.” This information comes from a new report by In the Public Interest, a group that focuses on privatization and responsible contracting. Meghan Lopez talks to RT correspondent Ramon Galindo about the effects of privately run corporations on taxpayers and the prison system in general.
Louisiana.. The World’s Incarceration Capital
The US state of Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the world. To deal with such a high number of prisoners, and to keep costs down, it uses private contractors to detain low-risk inmates and those awaiting sentencing.
The Young Turks (TYT) – Profit Guaranteed By Quotas For Private Prisons
“A new report from In the Public Interest (ITPI) revealed last week that private prison companies are striking deals with states that contain clauses guaranteeing high prison occupancy rates. The report, “Criminal: How Lockup Quotas and ‘Low-Crime Taxes’ Guarantee Profits for Private Prison Corporations,” documents the contracts exchanged between private prison companies and state and local governments that either guarantee prison occupancy rates (essentially creating inmate lockup quotas) or force taxpayers to pay for empty beds if the prison population decreases due to lower crime rates or other factors (essentially creating low-crime taxes).”* The Young Turks hosts Ana Kasparian and John Iadarola break it down.
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