Sunday, December 1, 2013

THOUGHTS ON PRIVATIZATION OF US PRISONS

by Bill Hessell


The privatization of our prison system is unfortunately increasing, and it is a crime against society in a number of ways.  This article shows well how much our prison system has expanded in the number of those incarcerated since for-profit prisons have come into play.  A number of factors are involved in the increase in prison populations, we have tragically become a much more violent, explosive society than in previous generations, but the for-profit incarceration adds another element which is very dangerous.  The miss-application of the three strikes laws are well-known, political pressure by prison guard unions on legislatures passing laws, donor pressure on judges concerning sentencing guidelines.  Little wonder our nation has more prison inmates than any nation in the world. Privatization, of course, isn't just with prisons.  State and federal government agencies in the US have been systematically cutting back during the past 30 years on absolutely essential services that they had previously been providing.  State mental hospitals closed in many states, drug rehab services no longer provided for any sufficient duration, patients turned loose to survive on their own, with family help, through charities, or for-profit treatment centers which only the wealthy can afford.  Our government is increasingly developing a cold heart and a rejecting shoulder, and privatization is seen as a legitimate alternative.  A very problematic one at best!
INCARCERATION: A NEW AMERICAN PASTIME