Posts Tagged With: CCA

Slavery By Another Name

Roadworkers.jpg

America, the largest prison nation in the world.  African Americans still making up a large number of the incarcerated.  Native Americans,  and those in the low income bracket that can’t afford the best attorneys.  Having to accept the public defender, where 95% have to plea bargain and only 5% go to court. The nation thinking that these people MUST be guilty to have accepted the plea bargain, not knowing that is how the system is built.  Our justice system would collapse under the weight of cases if everyone asked for a fair trial.  Granted there are those that deserve to be in prison for heinous crimes.  No argument there.  But we also have an insidious disease growing in our nation,  a hungry prison for profit disease. Corporations and Wall Street teaming up with Prisons, and the Criminal Justice System.  The demographic make-up of today’s prisons in the US and the history that’s produced this make-up (roughly 50% African-American, 35% Latino and 15% White),*Native Americans not being mentioned in these statistics* the privatization of prisons threatens to re-institute a link between race and commerce that has not been seen since the 1800’s. This is not new, let’s take a look at history.  Only thing new is that it is on a larger scale and has become more accepted.  

Found this following article on American Indian adolescents in Montana, N.Y.U. Review Of Law & Social Change to be very interesting.  By:  Melina Angelos Healey

American Indian adolescents in Montana are caught in a school-to-prison pipeline. They are plagued with low academic achievement, high dropout, suspension and expulsion rates, and disproportionate contact with the juvenile and criminal justice systems.  This phenomenon has been well documented in poor, minority communities throughout the country. But it has received little attention with respect to the American Indian population in Montana, for whom the problem is particularly acute. Indeed, the pipeline is uniquely disturbing for American Indian youth in Montana because this same population has been affected by another heartbreaking and related trend: alarming levels of adolescent suicides and self-harm.

The statistical evidence and tragic stories recounted in this report demonstrate beyond doubt that American Indian children on the reservations and elsewhere in Montana are moving into the school-to-prison pipeline at an alarming and tragic rate. The suicides of so many children is cause for despair, and the complicity of the education system in those deaths, whether through deliberate actions or through inattention, is cause for serious self-reflection and remediation. This article has been written in the hope that the people of Montana, government officials at all levels, teachers and school administrators, and public interest lawyers will have some of the information they need to take action. Despair, prison, and untimely death should not and need not be the ending places of public education for our most vulnerable children.

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Slavery By Another Name

Click to watch the entire documentary Slavery by Another Name

 

Slavery is slavery, America.  No matter which way you look at it.  No matter how you turn it.  No matter how you try to spin it.  It’s not pretty.  It can’t be justified.  We have to take a good hard look right in it’s ugly face and see it for what it is! 

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Prisons for Profit and Their Dirty Secrets.

Prison Industrial Complex

 

According to Truthcdm.com

The U.S. prison population is not only the largest in the world — it is relentlessly growing. The U.S. prison population is more than five times what it was 30 years ago.  In 1980, when Ronald Reagan became president, there were 400,000 prisoners in the U.S. Today the number exceeds 2.3 million.  The U.S. imprisons more people per capita than any country in the world. With less than 5 percent of the world population, the U.S. imprisons more than 25 percent of all people imprisoned in the world.

“Well over 600,000, and probably close to a million, inmates are working full-time in jails and prisons throughout the United States.

Prison labor — with no union protection, overtime pay, vacation days, pensions, benefits, health and safety protection, or Social Security withholding — also makes complex components for McDonnell Douglas/Boeing’s F-15 fighter aircraft, the General Dynamics/Lockheed Martin F-16, and Bell/Textron’s Cobra helicopter. Prison labor produces night-vision goggles, body armor, camouflage uniforms, radio and communication devices, and lighting systems and components for 30-mm to 300-mm battleship anti-aircraft guns, along with land mine sweepers and electro-optical equipment for the BAE Systems Bradley Fighting Vehicle’s laser rangefinder. Prisoners recycle toxic electronic equipment and overhaul military vehicles.

Labor in federal prisons is contracted out by UNICOR, previously known as Federal Prison Industries, a quasi-public, for-profit corporation run by the Bureau of Prisons. In 14 prison factories, more than 3,000 prisoners manufacture electronic equipment for land, sea and airborne communication. UNICOR is now the U.S. government’s 39th largest contractor, with 110 factories at 79 federal penitentiaries.

The majority of UNICOR’s products and services are on contract to orders from the Department of Defense. Giant multinational corporations purchase parts assembled at some of the lowest labor rates in the world, then resell the finished weapons components at the highest rates of profit. For example, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Corporation subcontract components, then assemble and sell advanced weapons systems to the Pentagon.

In cities and states across the U.S., hospitals, medical care facilities, schools, cafeterias, road maintenance, water supply services, sewage departments, sanitation, airports and tens of thousands of social programs that receive public funding are being contracted out to for-profit corporations. Anything publicly owned and paid for by generations of past workers’ taxes — from libraries to concert halls and parks — is being sold or leased at fire sale prices.

All this is motivated and lobbied for by right-wing think tanks like that set up by Koch Industries and their owners, Charles and David Koch, as a way to cut costs, lower wages and pensions, and undercut public service unions.

The most gruesome privatizations are the hundreds of for-profit prisons being established.

The inmate population in private for-profit prisons tripled between 1987 and 2007. By 2007 there were 264 such prison facilities, housing almost 99,000 adult prisoners. (house.leg.state.mn.us, Feb. 24, 2009) Companies operating such facilities include the Corrections Corporation of America, the GEO Group Inc. and Community Education Centers.

Prison bonds provide a lucrative return for capitalist investors such as Merrill-Lynch, Shearson Lehman, American Express and Allstate. Prisoners are traded from one state to another based on the most profitable arrangements.

To continue reading:  Truthcdm.com

 

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Million Shares Club: 36 Major Private Prison Investors

mejustice:

corruption money

“Each of these following companies own over 1 millions shares of CCA and GEO, and collectively own over two-thirds of CCA and GEO.” Unbelievable!!

  •  American Century Companies Inc.
  • Ameriprise Financial Inc.
  • Balestra Capital LTD.
  • Bank Of America Corp.
  • Bank Of New York Mellon Corp.
  • Barclays Global Investors
  • Blackrock Fund Advisors
  • Carlson Capital LP
  • Cramer Rosenthal McGlynn LLC
  • Dimensional Fund Advisors LP
  • Eagle Asset Management Inc.
  • Epoch Investment Partners, Inc.
  • FMR LLC
  • Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
  • Hamlin Capital Management, LLC
  • ING Investment Management, LLC & Co.
  • Invesco LTD.
  • Jennison Associates LLC
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Keeley Asset Management Corp.
  • Lazard Asset Management LLC
  • London Co. Of Virginia
  • Makaira Partners LLC
  • Managed Account Advisors LLC
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Neuberger Berman Group LLC
  • New South Capital Management INC
  • Northern Trust Corp
  • Principal Financial Group Inc
  • Renaissance Technologies LLC
  • River Road Asset Management, LLC
  • Scopia Capital Management LLC
  • State Street Corp
  • Suntrust Banks INC
  • Vanguard Group INC
  • Wells Fargo & Company

Originally posted on Prison Divestment Campaign:

There are 36 U.S.-based major financial investors that own over one million shares of CCA and GEO combined. The following companies each own over 1 million shares of CCA and GEO, and collectively own over two-thirds of CCA and GEO:

View original 392 more words

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Thinking About Investing In Prisons For Profit?

This following article was written in February of 2014, by an Investment Management Company, but it can be applied to any time of the year.  According to Strubel Investment Management

Dumb Investment of the Week: For-Profit Prison Industry

Strubel Investment Management‘s Dumb Investment of the Week for this week focuses on the private for-profit prison industry.

Since you know I happily invest in tobacco companies, alcoholic beverage manufacturers, and defense contractors, you know that the private prison industry must be pretty rotten if even I won’t invest in it.

The industry appears to operate a fundamentally flawed business model and seems thoroughly corrupt from top to bottom. We believe it is just a matter of time before Chaucer’s old adage about evil deeds being found out (“Murder will out, certain, it will not fail”) comes true.

Corrections Corporation of America (CXW), referred to hereafter by its better known industry acronym CCA, G4S plc (LSE:GFS), and The Geo Group, Inc (GEO)are the three main publicly traded companies that operate private for-profit prisons and detention centers.

These companies rode the dual wave of the war on drugs and deregulation/privatization (a better term might be “confiscation”) of public property and resources in the 1980s into a prominent political and financial force in the prison industry. A wave of overbuilding and lawsuits threatened the industry in the late 1990s, but the terrorist attacks of September 11 and a new focus on locating and detaining so called “illegal” immigrants have vaulted the private for-profit industry to record profits.

We believe the combination of a flawed business model and rampant abuse in the private prison industry will eventually outweigh the lobbying savvy of the companies and lead to the decline of the industry.

Industry Is Vulnerable to Abuse

The private prison industry stands unique among almost all other sectors of the economy in that the nature of its “customers” brings a very high risk of abuse.

It’s easy to take advantage of incarcerated persons. In many cases, the conviction of a crime strips individuals of certain right, their freedoms are severely restricted, and reduces or negates any sympathy society may feel toward them.

For instance, imagine if some large company perpetrated some abuse on my 80-year-old grandma. Well, let’s take a step back. First, it would be difficult for anyone to take advantage of her. As a free person, no company can truly force her to do anything. In addition, she has many family members, including my father and me, looking out for her. But, let’s suppose something did happen. As a non-convict and non-incarcerated person, she enjoys maximum rights under the law and would have a fairly easy time righting any wrongs through legal means. Also, as an 80-year-old widow and upstanding member of the community she presents a very sympathetic figure. Any media organization would eagerly take up her cause and be happy to publish a story on how some evil, faceless corporation took advantage of her. The community would likely be outraged and rally to her cause. Any local politician would be eager to help as well to show the voters how he’s “standing up for the little guy.”

With incarcerated people, the situation is very different. They are stripped of many rights. The operator of the prison system has almost complete control over their behavior and their daily lives. Many incarcerated people have less robust family support systems than mine, and the media and many politicians are going to be much less likely to champion the cause of a wronged convict than of my grandma.

It’s this dynamic that creates an enormous potential for abuse as we will show later throughout this article. Prisoners are easily taken advantage of and the for-profit nature of private prisons creates an overwhelming incentive to neglect the well-being of prisoners in exchange for increased profits. With public companies, the pressure of meeting investor and Wall Street expectations may make the temptation even greater.

Business Model Depends on Cutting Corners

In many, if not most, businesses there are multiple ways a company can increase profitability. Take Ford Motor Company, for example. Management has many options to increase profitability. They could design and build better cars than their competitors and take market share away. They could try charging more for their vehicles if they thought they were better than the competition. They could develop a new small, urban-friendly vehicle targeted to millennials living in cities, which would increase sales by enlarging the total pool of potential car buyers. They could develop more efficient manufacturing processes and cut costs thereby increasing profitability, or they could spend more money on advertising, which might lead to more sales. The point is that for a company like Ford that makes things that are useful to consumers and that consumers actually need and want, there are many levers managers can pull to improve the profitability of the company.

The private for-profit industry is an entirely different beast. The companies are paid a per diem rate for each prisoner at the prisons they own and operate. From Corrections Corp 10-K: “We are compensated for providing prison bed capacity and correctional services at an inmate per diem rate based upon actual or minimum guaranteed occupancy levels.”

Unlike Ford Motor Company, there is nothing a private for-profit prison operator can do to increase their top line “sales” figure without increasing bed capacity. They are compensated a fixed rate per prisoner. So, the only way that a private for-profit prison operator can increase profitability is cut costs. The less they spend per prisoner the greater their profit.

This means that private for-profit prison companies are highly incentivized to do the following:

  • Incarcerate the maximum number of people for as long as possible
  • Build and maintain prisons as cheaply as possible
  • Staff prisons as leanly as possible
  • Compensate staff as little as possible
  • Minimize the amount of medical care utilized by prisoners

Every dollar saved from staffing costs and prisoner care results in another dollar added to the company’s bottom line. Unfortunately, it seems that this pursuit of profit has led to unsafe conditions and systemic abuse of inmates at private for-profit prisons.

Abuses of the System and Mistreatment of Inmates

The abuses in the private prison industry are literally too numerous to mention. In the following sections we will present several examples and anecdotes in each category of abuse and neglect as well as a summary of any relevant statistical information that shows how that type of abuse is rampant across the entire private prison complex system.

Maximize Incarceration Rates

Private prisons are most profitable when operating at maximum occupancy rates. While many private prison contracts specify minimum occupancy guarantees (an issue we will address later in this article), the rate guarantees are usually less than 100%. Many private prisons have resorted to other tactics to keep their prisons filled.

The most notorious case might be the “kids for cash” scandal where two judges in Luzerne County, PA, were found guilty of and sentenced to 17.5 years and 28 years, respectively, for taking over $2.6M in kickbacks from Mid Atlantic Youth Service Corporation to sentence youths convicted of minor crimes to jail at the their private prison facility.

A study of New Mexico prisons showed that prisoners at private prisons run by CCA lost “good behavior” time, or reductions in their original sentence, at a rate EIGHT times higher than inmates in New Mexico state-run prisons. It’s important to keep in mind that CCA is generally able, through their contracts, to cherry pick the best (meaning, least violent and disruptive) inmates to house in their prisons. For example, a 2004 study found that minimum or medium level security inmates made up 90% of the prison population at private prisons but only 69% of the population at state-run prisons.

The maximization of incarceration rates also runs counter to the public good. By keeping prisoners incarcerated when they otherwise should not be, private prison companies are draining money from the state and federal coffers that could otherwise be spent on more productive uses such as education and infrastructure.

Staff Prisons as Leanly as Possible

Another way that private prison operators maximize profits is by reducing staff and operational expenses to the detriment of prisoner safety.

The most notorious example of lax prisoner oversight and inadequate staffing levels is the escape of three inmates from Kingman state prison in Arizona. Kingman was run by a private company, Management and Training Corp. One of the escaped prisoners, John McCluskey, murdered a New Mexico couple at a rest stop before being recaptured.

Another example is Idaho Correctional Center. This prison operated by CCA was so violent that prison staff and inmates referred to it as “gladiator school.” An investigation showed that the violence at ICC was three times higher than other prisons in Idaho. The reason for the violence was the lack of staff to adequately supervise prisoners. CCA was recently fined $1M by the state of Idaho for violating its contract and falsifying staff records to show that the prison was adequately staffed when, in fact, it was not.

In 2012, the assault rate at four privately run Mississippi prisons was THREE times higher than the average at state run prisons. Tennessee and Idaho also reported higher assault rates at private prisons than public ones.

The most violent prison of them all may be the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional facility in Mississippi. According to the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators, the average juvenile facility has one guard for every 10 to 12 inmates. At Walnut Grove, run by The GEO Group, there was one guard for every 60 inmates. This has led to skyrocketing violence. Walnut Grove won the title of Mississippi’s most violent prison in 2012.

The tales of prisoner beatings, rape, and mistreatment are too numerous to mention but are so bad the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center filed suit. After a judge stated that Walnut Grove was “a picture of such horror as should be unrealized anywhere in the civilized world” and “[the GEO Group] had been derelict in their duties and remain[ed] deliberately indifferent to the serious medical and mental health needs of the offenders” and the US Department of Justice also accused the facility of “systemic, egregious, and dangerous practices exacerbated by a lack of accountability and controls,” the state ended its contract with The GEO Group. (Not having learned their lesson, the facility is now run by another for-profit entity–Management and Training Group.)

Or take the case of a CCA injury settlement for 193 Colorado inmates over a prison riot. In that case, The Colorado Department of Corrections audit found that CCA was plagued by high staff turnover and was slow to correct problems at the Crowley County Correctional Facility.

Because of the fractured nature of the private prison industry and the lack of oversight, it is difficult to find comprehensive data for the entire industry to compare staffing levels. CCA’s 2012 10-K discloses that the company has a capacity of 92,500 beds and 16,620 non-corporate staff. Some of these staff members are employed in the company’s prisoner transportation business. Additionally, not all beds may be occupied or a facility may be filled beyond its rated capacity. In any case, using the disclosed figures, CCA employs only one non-corporate staff member per 5.56 potential prisoners. While prison overcrowding has been a constant issue since the war on drugs began, the Federal Bureau of Prisons had one staff member for every 4.9 inmates, which was regarded as understaffed compared to a 3.7 to 1 ratio in 1997.

Also, a review of the literature, cited throughout this article, regarding audits of private prisons when negative events occur (riots, inmate abuse, escapes, etc.) has found low staffing levels and inadequate staff training to be a contributing factor in each incident.

Reduce Operating Costs

It also should come as no surprise that if private prisons are financially incentivized to cut back on staffing they also appear to cut back on the maintenance and capital expenditures needed to keep prisons operating safely and efficiently.

For example, since CCA purchased the Lake Erie Correctional Institution in 2011 from the state of Ohio, there has been a rash of problems. The purchase audits and inspections by the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee and Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction have detailed poor living conditions and rising rates of criminal and violent activity at the prison. Inmate-on-inmate violence increased by 188% and inmate-on-staff violence increased 300% under CCA’s supervision, both rates well above average. A particularly notable incident came on March 10, 2013, when a supply fan broke and a building was flooded with toxic fumes, sickening 75% of the building’s inmates. The audits also showed that inmates had inadequate food, medical care, and in some cases inadequate housing.

In another example, former ACLU attorney Will Harrell was recently quoted as describing a Coke County, Texas, facility run by The GEO Group as “disgusting” and that “there was an infestation of insects everywhere you looked, including the kitchen. Insects in the food. It was horrible.” In 2007, The Texas Youth Commission, which was responsible for monitoring the facility, eventually fired several of its employees after it was found that they colluded with prison officials to cover up the conditions at the prison. An independent audit found prisoners living in filth (auditors visiting the prison got so much fecal matter on their shoes they had to wipe them off on the grass outside) without adequate access to toilets, denied access to medical care, denied access to legal counsel, and subject to racial segregation.

Minimize Medical Care

In addition to reducing expenses by cutting staffing costs and not properly maintaining capital infrastructure, private prisons also appear to reduce expenses by neglecting to provide adequate medical care to prisoners.

For example, after an inmate died recently, the Colorado Medical Board admonished the physician employed by CCA at Bent County Correctional Facility run by CCA, for providing inadequate medical care.

Another article details a 2005 investigation into Prison Health Services, a for-profit company that was responsible for the death of two prisoners in a two-month period because the company denied the prisoners their medications. The nurse admitted in a court deposition that she had joked to staff, “We save money because we skip the ambulance and bring them straight to the morgue.” There is also the case of Correctional Medical Services, which was the subject of a report that exposed how the company actively discouraged treatment for hepatitis among prisoners. Metro Correctional in Kentucky had seven inmates die in one year, and an investigation by the prison itself found that the prison may have been responsible for two of the deaths.

Comprehensive studies on the privatization of prison healthcare services and prison healthcare in general are very rare. A 1994 study by the Joint Legislative Audit Review Commission of the privatization of healthcare at the Greensville Correctional Center in Virginia found that it was a complete failure. Problems included inadequate care and staffing, cost overruns, and inadequate medical equipment.

The Private Prison Industry Runs Counter to the Public Good

Society benefits from having the minimum number of incarcerated persons, but the private for-profit prison industry does nothing to further this goal. The private prison industry benefits from locking up the maximum number of persons possible.

According to a recent article, 65% of private prison contracts have lockup quotas, meaning that the state guarantees that they will fill the prison to a certain capacity or will pay the difference. The most frequent lockup quota used in contracts is 90%, but three prisons in Arizona have lockup quotas of 100%.

This means that governments are paying to lock up prisoners whether or not there are any actual criminals to fill the jails! State and federal government entities are essentially guaranteeing profits to the private prison industry!

This leads to a grotesque scenario where there is pressure to increase the severity of sentencing laws to keep the prisons full. Private prison companies have been lobbied for three strike laws (mandates of 25 to life for multiple felony convictions) and truth-in-sentencing (keeping prisoners incarcerated for their entire sentence) legislation.

Privatization Deals Are Not Beneficial to Governments

All the abuses perpetrated by private prisons might be tolerable by the general public, since prisoners are usually not sympathetic figures, if the private prison industry lived up to its promises of incarcerating inmates more cheaply than public prisons. This is not the case; numerous studies have shown that incarcerating inmates at private facilities is more expensive than at public facilities or in a best case scenario costs the same.

When examining studies of the cost-effectiveness of private prisons, care must be taken to ensure that the underlying methodology of the study is valid. The private prison industry has a habit of generously donating to politicians and other groups to influence studies, showing the benefits of private prisons. There are enormous amounts of biased and poorly constructed studies that purport to show that private prisons offer cost savings over publicly run prisons. These studies, however, contain many flaws, such as the failure to adjust for differences in inmate populations, failure to include overhead costs, and comparisons to a hypothetical prison rather than actual operating facilities. A final trick used to present privatization as more effective is studies that highlight the cases of severely troubled state institutions after they are put under new, private management. In these cases, the state-run institutions are so poor that any new management, government or private, likely would have improved the prison.

The studies with the soundest methodology compare actual private prisons to actual state prisons with like characteristics (building size, location, prisoner demographics, security level, etc.).

The best study to date is the analysis of the 2010 data released by the Arizona Department of Corrections. This study compared like prisoners in actual, operating private and public prisons. The study found that using private prisons to hold minimum-security prisoners did not save any money, and that for medium-security prisoners was actually more expensive.

Another, albeit old, study that was well done and free from bias was the 1985 study of the transfer of the Florida School for Boys at Okeechobee, a juvenile detention facility, to a private non-profit organization. The study addresses one of the key claims made by the private prison industry that the private sector can provide public goods (in this case incarceration services) more efficiently than government organizations. Despite being a non-profit organization, the private manager was unable to realize any cost savings. Of note is one particular finding: Staff at the facility had much lower morale after the transfer. This finding once again corresponds to the articles cited throughout this report that staff issues including lower morale are one of the prominent downsides to the privatization of detention facilities.

Social Mores and Budget Issues Impact Incarceration Rates

The final issue is the shifting tides of social mores. Society as a whole seems to have grown tired of the “war on drugs” that resulted in the mass incarceration of millions of Americans for non-violent, victimless crimes against the state.

http://strubelim.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/2-10-14_inc_rates.jpg

(Graphic source: Wikipedia)

With the commencement of the war on drugs and emphasis on detaining immigrants, the incarceration rate has risen from a steady 100 persons per 100,000 to an astonishing 500 persons.

The cost to society for this misguided adventure has been enormous. With many states still facing budgetary pressures, reducing incarceration rates is an easy place to save money.

Finally, social mores threaten to reduce the number of persons convicted or held on drug related and immigration offenses, which are the two main drivers of the increase in incarceration rates. The recent legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington shows that the social mores on drug use are changing. Immigration reform has the potential to wind down the immigration equivalent of the war on drugs. As the social and demographic makeup of the United States changes, society is less likely to view the incarceration of drug users and immigrants as desirable.

With an enormous amount of bed capacity built up in the prison system (both public and private) to house quintupling of inmates, any drop in incarceration rates will radically affect private prison companies’ bottom lines. Almost every other civilized country has incarceration rates ranging from 150 to 50 odd people per 100,000, which is the historic range for the United States as well.

Summary

In summary, we find there is no economic or social reason for the private prison industry to exist. The horrific records of abuse at many private prisons and the changing social mores of the country place the profitability of these companies at risk.

Intense lobbying and generous campaign finance contributions by the private prison industry should keep the corporate coffers and jail cells filled in the short term. Also, with some private prison companies converting to REITs for the tax benefits, shareholders may reap a short-term windfall. Over the next ten years or so, however, the private prison industry is at great risk as its reason for existence begins to fade.

About the author:

Ben Strubel

President and Portfolio Manager of Strubel Investment Management, LLC a value oriented,independent, fee-only Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) based in Lancaster, PA.Visit Ben Strubel’s Website

We asked permission to use this article from Mr.Strubel. His response:
You are welcome to share the article with anyone you like. Glad you liked the article.

Ben Strubel, MBA
President and Portfolio Manager

Strubel Investment Management, LLC

Montana, you have Prisons For Profit in your state. Not only CCA, (Shelby Correctional Institute) and Cascade County Regional Prison, the state has learned how to use this cookie cutter system to make money for the select that have investments in it.  Montana Department of Corrections rents from private industries even, as you see in Cascade County Regional.  Phone fees are astronomical at $14-$15 per 15 minute local phone call and $17-$20 per 15 minute long distance phone call, forcing all inmates to cut ties with their families. Although, it has been proven that inmates with communication and visitation from loved ones will help decrease the numbers of those returning back into the system. Makes you wonder with these fees, canteen fees, visitation restrictions, etc. if they really want an inmate to be successful on the outside.  It makes them more money for them to return to prison.  Look at the Montana Parole Board and their high return rate!  Look at the incarceration rate! Montana, seriously, is this something to be proud of?

 

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America’s incarceration nation

mejustice:

No one likes to talk about this, of course: “We sell products made by prison labor” isn’t the kind of slogan likely to generate consumer enthusiasm. But to those in the know – as an online video promoting UNICOR’s call-center services boasts – prison labor is “the best-kept secret in outsourcing.”

Maybe Incarceration Nation really is a foreign country.

Originally posted on Prison Reform Movement's Weblog:

English: A visual representation of states in ...

A visual representation of states in the United States by number of imprisoned persons. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Rosa Brooks

You already know that the United States locks up a higher percentage of its population than any other country in the world. If you look at local, state and federal prison and jail populations, the United States currently incarcerates more than 2.4 million people, a figure that constitutes roughly 25 percent of the total incarcerated population of the entire world.

A population of 2.4 million is a lot – enough, in fact, to fill up a good-sized country. If the incarcerated population of the United States constituted a nation-state, what kind of country would it be?

Here’s a profile of Incarceration Nation:

Population size: As a country – as opposed to a prison system – Incarceration Nation is on the small side. Nonetheless, a population of 2.4 million is perfectly respectable:…

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The Dirty Thirty: Nothing to Celebrate About 30 Years of Corrections Corporation of America

Originally posted on Prison Reform Movement's Weblog:

Prison for Profit: CCA, GEO et al Put Revenues...

Prison for Profit: CCA, GEO  Put Revenues Ahead of Rehabilitation (Photo credit: watchingfrogsboil)

Prisons for Profit are morally and socially wrong.  Click the link below to read all 30 reports….

Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the nation’s oldest and largest for-profit private prison corporation, is commemorating its 30th anniversary throughout 2013 with a series of birthday celebrations at its facilities around the country.

Over the last 30 years, CCA has benefited from the dramatic rise in incarceration and detention in the United States. Since the company’s founding in 1983, the incarcerated population has risen by more than 500 percent to more than 2.2 million people. Meanwhile, the number of people held in immigrationdetention centers has exploded from an average daily population of 131 people to over 32,000 people on any given day.

CCA has made profits from, and at times contributed to, the expansion of tough-on-crime and anti-immigrant…

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The Money Behind Our Prison System

Prison Corporations In America

Prison Corporations In America

According to a recent article from smartasset written by Brian Kincade:

The American prison system is massive. So massive that its estimated turnover of $74 billion eclipses the GDP of 133 nations. What is perhaps most unsettling about this fun fact is that it is the American taxpayer who foots the bill, and is increasingly padding the pockets of publicly traded corporations like Corrections Corporation of America and GEO Group. Combined both companies generated over $2.53 billion in revenue in 2012, and represent more than half of the private prison business. So what exactly makes the business of incarcerating Americans so lucrative?

Most of it has to do with the way the American legal system works, and how it has changed over the last 40 years. In the 1970’s, lawmakers were dealing with a nationwide rash of drug-use and crime. By declaring a nation-wide war on drugs in 1971, President Richard Nixon set a precedent for hard-line policies towards drug-related crime.  New York governor Nelson Rockefeller followed suit declaring “For drug pushing, life sentence, no parole, no probation.”  His policies once put into action promised 15 years to life in prison for drug users and dealers. His policies catalyzed the growth of a colossal corrections system that currently houses an estimated 2.2 million inmates.

prison_20130611-021

The average cost of incarcerating an American prisoner varies from state to state. Some states, like Indiana have managed to keep prices low at around $14,000 per inmate. While states like New York pay around $60,000 to keep its citizens behind bars. The costs of running the American prison system is expensive and has become increasingly so despite public opposition.

According to a 2012 Vera Institute of Justice study, the number of those incarcerated has increased by over 700% over the last four decades. The cost to the taxpayer? $39 billion.

Where is all of this money going? The Vera institute study contends that that many corrections-related costs, such as employee benefits and taxes, pension contributions, retiree health care contributions, legal judgments and claims are deemed central administrative costs. Moreover, many states fund inmate services—such as hospital care in 8 states, and education and training in 12 states—outside of their corrections departments.  It’s a nice accounting trick but this amounts to a $5.4 billion gap between the reported corrections budgets of the 40 states examined by the study—$33.5 billion—and the actual cost to taxpayer of $39 billion.

Continue to read The Economics of the American Prison System

Montana, remember this prison system and this prison mentality is right in “your” backyard.  This corporation is in bed with the political system.  Helping to create new laws to lock “you” up.  Donating and funding money for lobbying, and for special events, such as Montana Governor Steve Bullock’s Inaugural Ball.   The prison system is growing fast and then add in the factor of a Board Of Pardons And Parole that on the majority will not release inmates that are doing very well.  Instead they release those that they think will end back up in the economic prison loop.  Montana has the highest incarceration rate than any other state surrounding.  It is time for reform.  It is time for taxpayers to stop  paying for a system that we cannot afford, just to line the pockets of corporations and politicians and state officials receiving kickbacks.

Sources: CCA, Vera Institute of Justice, The Nation, AFSC, CJR, University of Chicago Crime Lab, Barclays Capital, NPR, AFSC

Photo Credit: CCA, The New York Times, KQED

Categories: Montana Politics, Wake Up America | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sesame Street Now Giving Tools To Children, To Cope With America’s Incarceration Epidemic

Sesame Street Prison Program

 

According to an article, released today,  “My Dad Is In Jail”  by Mike Riggs,  the following was stated:

Nearly seven million people are under correctional supervision in the U.S.; more than two million of them are in a jail or prison. If you want to know what those numbers mean for the American family, consider this: The makers of Sesame Street decided to design and release an educational kit titled “Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration.”

Actually, I believe the number is at 7.5 million under correctional supervision and 2.3 million within jail or prison.   Large Corporations have made this a profit industry as you can read here,  Private Prisons Skyrocket, As Executives Assure Investors Of ‘Growing Offender Population’ with Steve BullockMontana Governor’s Ball Receives Thousands From Largest Prison Corporation In America.   They are even partially funding public school teachers pensions, as seen here.  Public Schoolteachers Pensions Are Partially Funded By Private Prisons.

You can view the entire “Sesame Street Educational Kit” here.   I would have to fully agree with Mike Riggs following comment.

 “Congratulations, America, on making it almost normal to have a parent in prison or jail.” — Mike Riggs

Categories: The Real MT, Wake Up America | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Private Prison Profits Skyrocket, As Executives Assure Investors Of ‘Growing Offender Population’

Private Prison Profits Skyrocket, As Executives Assure Investors Of ‘Growing Offender Population’.

Excerpt from the above link:

A major U.S. private prison operator known for inmate abuseviolations, and disregard for the truth reported a 56-percent spike in profit in the first quarter of 2013, due in part to its new strategy for drastically reducing its taxes, the Associated Press reports. During a conference call touting its success, representatives at GEO Group boasted that the company continues to have “solid occupancy rates in mid to high 90s” and that they are optimistic “regarding the outlook for the industry,” in part due to a “growing offender population.” GEO Senior Vice President John Hurley assured investors during the call:

We have a longstanding partnership with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the United States Marshal Service and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE. … We continue to see meaningful opportunities for us to partner with all three of these federal agencies, notwithstanding the various issues with the federal budget, which we believe will have no material negative impact on our business. The federal bureau of prisons continues to face capacity constraints coupled with a growing offender population.

The federal prison population has swelled 790 percent since 1980, in large part due to draconian drug and immigration laws. And the United States maintains the title of the world’s number one jailer. Private prison operators nonetheless remain enthusiastic about the prospects of high incarceration rates for business. Representatives on this call shied away from the strong language fellow prison firm Corrections Corporation of America used during its investor call in February, when CEO Damon Hininger assured a strong “continued demand for beds” even after immigration reform. GEO executives explained that they are now taking the position that “discussing our approach and strategies about any particular procurement is really not in the best interest of our company or our shareholders.”

Following a trend of corporations achieving dramatic tax reductions by becoming a real estate investment trust (REIT) – a mechanism historically reserved for firms holding real estate as an investment — both GEO and fellow prison operator Corrections Corporation of America successfully persuaded the Internal Revenue Service recently that they are essentially holding real estate, analogizing prisoners to renters paid for by the government. In reality, the job of running a prison is only nominally about the facility where it’s housed, and primarily about ensuring humane prisoner treatment, inmate rehabilitation, and public safety. But private prison corporations charging “rent” to house prisoners make no more or less money depending on whether they achieve these goals, particularly not when immense political spending to lobby for incarceration and privatization outweighs the public pressure from widely reported abuses at private facilities.

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Public Schoolteachers’ Pensions Are Partially Funded by Private Prisons

mejustice:

The largest prison corporation of America has become enmeshed with our society.

Originally posted on Prison Reform Movement's Weblog:


Photo via Flickr user Rennett Stowe

By Ray Downs

Public schools and prisons are becoming increasingly linked—police officers are now a constant presence in many schools, which has led to students getting hassled and arrested by cops for what could be described as normal kid stuff, including performing science experiments on school grounds. There’s even a name for this phenomenon: the school-to-prison pipeline, which takes kids, mostly minority students who live in poverty, out of the classroom and into the legal system, shuffling them into the prison-industrial complex before they’re old enough to vote.

But there’s another, less obvious way schools are tied to prisons. Retirement funds for public school teachers (as well as other government employees) in several states have a combined $90 million invested in Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and GEO Group, the largest private prison companies in the world. Though individual teachers didn’t decide to…

View original 1,168 more words

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