Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Private Prisons: For Fun and Profit

Times are tough. We're in a recession, in case you haven't heard. Especially since the government won't let you file a joint tax return with your same-sex partner, money is shorter than ever. The solution is simple: start your own for-profit prison.

Little did you know that roughly 120,000 of our nation's 2.3 million inmates are housed in privately owned and operated penitentiaries. These facilities keep both federal and state criminals and are often contracted by the United States government when space and resources run low. Without saying that it's a cheap and easy way to confine criminals, let's just say... it is.

Federal prisons are so passe. What's the fun in having a government funded and organized correctional facility when private prisons have a much higher rate bankruptcy? Additionally, as guards have a history of striking in these back-yard prisons it's much easier to have an Azkaban-style mass breakout. Not to mention the fact that these private prisons are rarely subject to the same scrutiny or standards as federal enclosures. Never mind that a number of these insta-prisons seem to be cropping up in vacated factories and warehouses of communities suffering from the industrial crisis. Or that most of them are owned by businessmen, moonlighting as wardens.

It appears the standard of security is as big of a sham as the standard of equality.

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