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Monday, December 2, 2013

What?!? Private Prisons Suing States for Millions if They Don't Stay Full

Terry Shropshire
Rolling Out

private prisons

Low crime rates bad for business for white-owned private prisons; they demand states keep them full

The prison-industrial complex is so out of control that private prisons have the sheer audacity to order states to keep beds full or face their wrath with stiff financial penalties, according to reports. Private prisons in some states have language in their contracts that state if they fall below a certain percentage of capacity that the states must pay the private prisons millions of dollars, lest they face a lawsuit for millions more.
And guess what? The private prisons, which are holding cash-starved states hostage, are getting away with it, says advocacy group, In the Public Interest.
In the Public Interest has reviewed more than 60 contracts between private prison companies and state and local governments across the country, and found language mentioning “quotas” for prisoners in nearly two-thirds of those contracts reviewed. Those quotas can range from a mandatory occupancy of, for example, 70 percent occupancy in California to up to 100 percent in some prisons in Arizona.
It is very interesting and telling that so few major national news organization are willing to report on the monstrous, ravenous and criminal system that is devouring hundreds of thousands of black and brown boys. Even those who do not subscribe to conspiracy theories have looked askance at this shocking report.
Welcome to the greatest manifestation of modern-day slavery, ladies and gentlemen.
One of those private prisons, The Corrections Corporation of America, made an offer last year to the governors of 48 states to operate their prisons on 20-year contracts, according to In the Public Interest.
What makes these deals so odious and unscrupulous? Take a look:
1) The offer included a demand that those prisons remain 90 percent full for the duration of the operating agreement. You know what that means: if there are not enough prisoners then there will be an unspoken push for police to arrest more people and to have the courts send more to prison for petty, frivolous and nonviolent crimes. There will also be a “nudge” for judges to hand down longer or maximum sentences to satisfy this “quota.”
2) Private prison companies have also backed measures such as “three-strike” laws to maintain high prison occupancy.
3) When the crime rate drops so low that the occupancy requirements can’t be met, taxpayers are left footing the bill for unused facilities.
The report found that 41 of 62 contracts reviewed contained occupancy requirements, with the highest occupancy rates found in Arizona, Oklahoma and Virginia.
In Colorado, Democratic Gov. John Hinklooper agreed to close down five state-run prisons and instead send inmates to CCA’s three corrections facilities. That cost taxpayers at least $2 million to maintain the unused facilities.
It is getting more difficult to rationalize the societal cost of keeping prisons full just to satisfy private investors who treat prisoners as commodity and cattle .

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  1. Black and brown men? You know the redneck jokes? "You may be a redneck if..." Well, I have one for you. "You might be a racist if you state that prison systems are just for black and brown men. Hypocrite and fool is all you are.

    I hate the corrupt system too, but to say or imply that "whites" own the prisons and blacks occupy them based on race is racist to the core. You need to grow up or these injustices will never stop because of useless race baiting.

    Next, black people commit more crimes and get caught, so by your own admitted standards, blacks are sub par to white men and that just is not so.

    Not the sharpest tool in the shed are ya boy! (Yeah, I called you "Boy" because you act like one..not an adult).

    1. It was never stated that "prison systems are just for black and brown men" - it was stated that the prison system is devouring black and brown men, which is 100% true. Black men are incarcerated at much higher rates than any other demographic, even for similar charges. This doesn't mean that black men commit more crimes, simply that they are put in jail for charges that white men would receive probation for.
      Add in racial profiling and you have black men being targeted unfairly to be put into the justice system that will throw them in jail for almost anything.
      It isn't racist or race baiting to point out that black men and other minorities are unfairly targeted by the justice system. I mean, jesus, just recently a NATIONAL JUDGE was quoted as saying that minority men are inherently violent and should be treated as such during sentencing. That type of thinking is racist.
      To point out that a racial bias exists in our justice system isn't racist. It isn't race baiting. And to do as you suggest, to leave these types of conversations unmentioned for fear of "useless race baiting", will only allow a system like this to continue doing what it is currently doing.

      The system is racially biased, not the article.

      Not the sharpest tool in the shed, are ya, boy? (Yeah, I called you a "boy" because you're acting like one, not an adult.)

    2. There's plenty of solid, peer-reviewed research that has demonstrated that black and brown people have a massively higher chance of going to prison than white defendants in precisely the same situation, matched for history and offense.



      Jason Ziedenberg, et al, Building Blocks for Youth: “Drugs and Disparity: The Racial Impact of Illinois’ Practice of Transferring Young Drug Offenders to Adult Court.” April 2001

      Xerene is precisely right. Of course that won't affect the opinion of someone who formulates such opinions in the absence of actual facts.

  2. The picture of the Two Rivers "Regional" Detention Center is very interesting. This was a spec jail foisted off by Texas promoters on the morons who comprised the board of the Hardin, Montana, economic development authority. The town's authority passed a bond for $27.4 million to build a prison illegal by state law that probably could have been better constructed for only $10 million or so. It has been complete for six and a half years and has never held a prisoner. It defaulted on those bonds years ago. The desperate clowns even tried to give the keys to a southern California con man during one of those periods between years served for his schemes and refused to believe the character was a fraud for weeks after he was outed.