Yet the reality is that private prison lobbyists regularly buy influence
with state and federal officials, not only to win lucrative contracts,
but also to change or preserve policies that increase the number of
people behind bars. Private companies have made huge profits off the mass
incarceration of non-violent drug offenders, and are now turning their
attention to increasing the detention of Latino immigrants—the newest
profit center for the prison industrial complex. Ultimately there is no
way to reverse the costly trend toward mass incarceration without reducing
the influence of these companies and their money in our democracy.
Earlier this year in Louisiana, a plan by Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) to
privatize prisons narrowly failed in a legislative committee by a vote
of 13 to 12. The 12 members of the House Appropriations Committee who
voted to approve the prison privatization plan have received more than
three times more money from private prison donors than the 13 members
who voted against the plan, according to an analysis of data from the
Louisiana Ethics Administration and the National Institute on Money in
State Politics. Gov. Jindal himself has taken nearly $30,000 from the
private prison industry.
And of course in Georgia there’s HB 87, which isn’t really about
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A northeastern Pennsylvania judge was ordered Thursday to spend nearly
three decades in prison for his role in a massive bribery scandal
that prompted the state’s high court to toss thousands of juvenile
convictions and left lasting scars on the children who appeared in his
courtroom and their hapless families.
Former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr. was sentenced to 28
years in federal prison for taking a $1 million bribe from the builder
of a pair of juvenile detention centers in a case that became known as
“kids for cash.”
Now that’s privatization of justice!
Looks a lot like no justice at all.
Makes you wonder how many other people are in prison who shouldn’t be.
We don’t need a private prison in Lowndes County, Georgia.
Spend that tax money on rehabilitation and education.
PS: Had to go to the Guardian for the picture, though.