Friday, November 23, 2012

8 Inmates Suing Private Prison Corporation For Letting Gangs Control Jail To Save Money

If you haven't heard yet, America has prisons that are owned by private corporations.  Think about that.  A person, or group of people, are looking at inmates, as profit.  Like a business, they look for new ways to generate profit, and cut expenses.  In the latest case shining light on this shady operation, eight inmates at the Idaho Correctional Center are suing the Corrections Corporation of America, contending the company is working with a few powerful prison gangs to control the facility south of Boise and spend less on staffing.

In another recent story involving private prisons, the owners of two private, for-profit juvenile facilities, in Pennsylvania, were giving kickbacks to a judge, Mark Ciavarella, for sentencing children to extended stays in juvenile detention for offenses as minimal as mocking a principal on Myspace or trespassing in a vacant building.  This scandal became known as "kids-for-cash".  The judge was eventually sentenced to a lengthy prison term, but not before he ruined many children's lives.  In one heartbreaking story, a seventeen year old boy, with no prior record, committed suicide shortly after being released from a private prison that Judge Mark Ciavarella ordered him to be locked up at. The boy's mother angrily confronted Ciavarella after a court appearance.  You can watch the video here:

The two big companies profiting off of private prisons are Corrections Corporation of America, and  The Geo Group Inc.  These two companies have combined revenue of over $3 billion.  These companies spend millions on lobbying federal and state governments, as well as millions in political contributions to candidates.

Over the past 15 years, the number of people held in all prisons in the United States has increased by 49.6 percent, while private prison populations have increased by 353.7 percent, as governments are increasingly looking to privatize their prisons to save money.

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