Why Georgia wants to build private prisons

Jake Armstrong wrote 4 Dec 2008 in the Florida Times-Union that Private prisons trump Georgia’s: DOC says incarceration is cheaper when done by private companies. Really? How much cheaper?
Private companies can build prisons faster and operate them for slightly less than the state, said Michael Nail, deputy director of the department’s corrections division.
Slightly cheaper. Which we already learned is by having fewer guards per prisoner. Risking public safety for small dollar savings: does that sound like a good idea to you?.

How much cheaper?

Private prisons also reduce the state’s $48 daily per-inmate cost by $3 to $5.
That’s right, 6.25% to 10.42% cheaper. While funnelling profits to private prison company executives and shareholders.

Build them faster. Why build them at all when other states, such as Texas, are cancelling prisons because they can’t afford them.

What are such states doing instead? What critics of Georgia’s path recommend:

But critics of the state’s justice system say money should be directed at education, drug treatment and job development, rather than at more space for offenders.

Here’s the problem:

The population in the 58,000-inmate system grows between 4 percent and 7 percent each year, and the department needs beds for as many as 4,000 inmates in the next year, Nail said.
Needs? What Georgia needs to do is to stop locking up so many people, especially for minor drug offenses.

The first rule of getting out of a hole: stop digging!

Who is digging?

Georgia began contracting with two prison companies in 1998. Two companies, Cornell Corp. and Corrections Corp. of America, run three prisons with capacity for 7,000 inmates.

The digging has continued since 2008, with an Arizona-style anti-immigrant law to rake in more prison “customers”. HB 87 passed despite thousands of opponents rallying against it.

CCA wants to build a prison in Lowndes County, where our Industrial Authority thinks that’s a fine idea.

What say we cancel the prison and grow local industry like solar, food, prison rehabilitation, and education.


1 thought on “Why Georgia wants to build private prisons

  1. Leigh Touchton

    Valdosta NAACP branch voted last night to oppose the private prison approved by VLCIA. We don’t need more prisons, and they do not improve economic standards in any community in which they have been located. There is a safety burden upon the community, there are human rights abuses, and the focus should be on saving the state money by rehabilitation of non-violent offenders rather than mass incarceration. When America has 5% of the world’s population but incarcerates 25% of the world’s prisoners, this is unacceptable. In North Carolina, private prisons have put local furniture manufacturers out of business because they cannot compete with the prison’s slave labor. These are not sustainable and it’s no mystery why most of the large Christian denominations in America oppose them.

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