Opprobrium was heaped upon me by various commenters for my post Arbeit Macht Frei because I dared invoke the dreaded Nazi reference when talking about our Prison-Industrial Complex.
Phil, I’ve read the very same rants ad nauseam. It’s not like you had any news to report.
I usually enjoy your blog, I’m a Goldwater GOP and am upset with the hijacking of small government issues by a crackpot bunch of lunatics. But your use of a genocidial phase is offensive! Please don’t!!!
Dude, seriously, way to far and offensive. You make it easy for people to discount you.
Perhaps I was over-the-top in my analogy. Perhaps we can never use the Nazis as an example of what might be happening in the world today. But I remain shocked that people responded to that analogy and not to the statistics I cited about the incarceration rates for African-American men.
Perhaps this will sway some people to my way of thinking about this problem.
Meet the GEO Group, Inc., formerly WCC (Wackenhut Correctional Corporation). According to their website,
GEO is one of the worlds largest correctional and detention organizations with approximately 80,000 beds and 116 facilities located in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and South Africa. GEO is a leader in the delivery of private correctional and detention management, community re-entry services as well as behavioral and mental health services to government agencies around the globe. Our goal is to help our clients serve those assigned to their care through a wide range of diversified services including the design, construction and financing of state and federal prisons, immigration and detention centers, community re-entry facilities, mental health and residential treatment centers and other special needs institutions.
In particular, the demand for our correctional and detention facilities and services and BI’s services could be adversely affected by changes in existing criminal or immigration laws, crime rates in jurisdictions in which we operate, the relaxation of criminal or immigration enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction, sentencing or deportation practices, and the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by criminal laws or the loosening of immigration laws. For example, any changes with respect to the decriminalization of drugs and controlled substances could affect the number of persons arrested, convicted, sentenced and incarcerated, thereby potentially reducing demand for correctional facilities to house them. Similarly, reductions in crime rates could lead to reductions in arrests, convictions and sentences requiring incarceration at correctional facilities. Immigration reform laws which are currently a focus for legislators and politicians at the federal, state and local level also could materially adversely impact us.
The GEO group operates correctional facilities for Federal, State and City agencies. They even operate one in Cuba at GITMO (for migrants interdicted at sea, not the one for terrorists). Like CCA, GEO has a strong financial interest in keeping criminals flowing into the systems. They will resist any attempt at reforming the law or the correctional system if it inhibits profit. And they lobby hard in Washington and at the state level to ensure that de-criminalization of non-violent drug offenses does not occur.
By privatizing correctional facilities we create a growth market for criminality. Is that really what we want to do? At what point do we realize that there are just some things that should not be privatized. Police, fire, corrections…. These are just a few of the things that are best done by the public sector.