A “for profit” or “private” prison, as evident in the name, is designed to make a profit. What are they profiting on? People. They are profiting on the buying and selling of human beings. They have motivation to keep their costs low, cut corners and not follow regulations to increase their profit. They also have great incentive to keep prisoners locked up as long as they can. These prisons, run by corporations that answer to their investors, are in the business of making money. These corporations can donate to and lobby legislators and they have been found to have committed abuses throughout this country in the past many years.
The concept of a private prison is in and of itself morally corrupt and is antithetical to the goal of reducing the racial disparity in the prison system.
In 2015 according the Bureau of Statistics, 7 percent of state prisoners and 18 percent of federal prisoners across the country were held in private prisons. It is important to note that while the crime rate in the United States went down in the last 25 years, prison populations have gone up. There are many reasons why this has happened and a lot has to do with unfair discrimination and treatment of people of color and the poor when it comes to non-violent crimes. Additionally, there is incentive. States make contracts with the private prisons to keep a certain number of their beds filled at all times.
That means that they have to put and keep a certain number of inmates in jail in order to meet a quota. We are meeting a quota with human beings? We are, and what is worse, these private prisons have histories of abuse and violations that go unchecked and unnoticed.
Private prisons amount to modern day slavery because of the abuse, the lack of regard for regulations and the treatment of prisoners. The profits do not stop at buying and selling people. They do not stop at making sure a large percentage of beds are filled. These prisoners are used for labor with contracts for companies like Whole Foods, while other companies are underbid by private prisons thus hurting the economy as well. These prisoners are paid cents per hour and the prisons sell the goods to turn a gigantic profit.
From VT Digger