What?!? Private prisons suing states for millions if they don’t stay full


By Terry Shropshire

Source: rollingout.com

The prison-industrial complex is so out of control that private prisons have the sheer audacity to order states to keep beds full or face their wrath with stiff financial penalties, according to reports. Private prisons in some states have language in their contracts that state if they fall below a certain percentage of capacity that the states must pay the private prisons millions of dollars, lest they face a lawsuit for millions more.

And guess what? The private prisons, which are holding cash-starved states hostage, are getting away with it, says advocacy group, In the Public Interest.

In the Public Interest has reviewed more than 60 contracts between private prison companies and state and local governments across the country, and found language mentioning “quotas” for prisoners in nearly two-thirds of those contracts reviewed. Those quotas can range from a mandatory occupancy of, for example, 70 percent occupancy in California to up to 100 percent in some prisons in Arizona.

It is very interesting and telling that so few major national news organization are willing to report on the monstrous, ravenous and criminal system that is devouring hundreds of thousands of black and brown boys. Even those who do not subscribe to conspiracy theories have looked askance at this shocking report.

Welcome to the greatest manifestation of modern-day slavery, ladies and gentlemen.

One of those private prisons, The Corrections Corporation of America, made an offer last year to the governors of 48 states to operate their prisons on 20-year contracts, according to In the Public Interest.

What makes these deals so odious and unscrupulous? Take a look:

1) The offer included a demand that those prisons remain 90 percent full for the duration of the operating agreement. You know what that means: if there are not enough prisoners then there will be an unspoken push for police to arrest more people and to have the courts send more to prison for petty, frivolous and nonviolent crimes. There will also be a “nudge” for judges to hand down longer or maximum sentences to satisfy this “quota.”

2) Private prison companies have also backed measures such as “three-strike” laws to maintain high prison occupancy.

3) When the crime rate drops so low that the occupancy requirements can’t be met, taxpayers are left footing the bill for unused facilities.

The report found that 41 of 62 contracts reviewed contained occupancy requirements, with the highest occupancy rates found in Arizona, Oklahoma and Virginia.

In Colorado, Democratic Gov. John Hinklooper agreed to close down five state-run prisons and instead send inmates to CCA’s three corrections facilities. That cost taxpayers at least $2 million to maintain the unused facilities.

It is getting more difficult to rationalize the societal cost of keeping prisons full just to satisfy private investors who treat prisoners as commodity and cattle .

This entry was posted in civil liberties, Corporate Crime, culture, Drug War, Economics, Law, police state, Privatization, Social Control, society, State Crime, wasted taxpayer dollars and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to What?!? Private prisons suing states for millions if they don’t stay full

  1. Heather Awen says:

    I’m so fricking glad you’re posting this stuff.
    . The prison system is a war on vulnerable marginalized people denied equality and makes sure they will face more discrimination. It inflicts trauma on the already traumatized as if that rehabilitates people, when of course our society needs the rehabilitation. I remember when GE bought its first prison, I was about 15, thinking this a bad sign. Reagan had the War on Black Men started, oops War on Drugs. 1 in 4 young African American men were in the injustice system. Voters gone.

    Nothing to prevent crime, like the issues of for personal safety having to join a gang, the terrible school system, the welfare system breaking up families because if Dad is there the kids can’t get food stamps, gentrification destroying community, man, it was so obvious in the 80s, I can’t believe I’m nostalgic for then but evil was really easy to spot. The total slash of public services when prisons are privatized. As for actually helping people in prison, mostly there because of stuff they did under the influence of the new public service, drugs and booze, ha. People saw education for prisoners as rewarding them. So short sighted. AIDS had popped up then too and now it’s 1 in 4 African-American men will be HIV+. The genocide continues. Drug and psychological treatment is reduced to putting half of inmates on the dangerous Seroquel antipsychotic medication, another collusion with big business.

    And the end result of having far higher a percentage of our population incarcerated than any other nation? Safety? Ha ha ha.

    • Thanks for the insightful comment. I’ve always felt war tends to create worse problems and is never a good solution whether waged against drugs, terror, rogue puppet dictators or geopolitical rivals.

  2. sojourner says:

    Reblogged this on An Outsider's Sojourn II and commented:

    “Welcome to the greatest manifestation of modern-day slavery, ladies and gentlemen.”

  3. swo8 says:

    This is getting rather extreem isn’t it? Time to put an end to Chapter 11. There’s no place for it in a real democracy.

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