For-Profit Private Prisons
News of Note: Private Prison Charges Inmates $5 a Minute for Phone Calls While They Work for $1 a Day
Last year the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the nation’s largest private prison company, received $74 million of taxpayers’ money to run immigration detention centers. Their largest facility in Lumpkin, Georgia, receives $200 a night for each of the 2,000 detainees it holds, and rakes in yearly profits between $35 million and $50 million.
Prisoners held in this remote facility depend on the prison’s phones to communicate with their lawyers and loved ones. Exploiting inmates’ need, CCA charges detainees here $5 per minute to make phone calls. Yet the prison only pays inmates who work at the facility $1 a day. At that rate, it would take five days to pay for just one minute.
Most people are unaware that private prisons exist. These entirely for profit commercial enterprises lobby elected and appointed officials to keep laws in place that call for longer and tougher sentences. Did you know the US has the highest incarceration rate in the entire world? It is not okay for America to be oblivious to the needlessly suffering this profiteering causes or how corrupt this corporate-government connection actually is.
Slideshow image source: abardwell
The rate of recidivism among ex convincts is lower for those who have support of friends and family on the outside. Yet, the system not only fails to encourage that support — IT WORKS AGAINST IT.
Why? You can’t bill the state for empty beds. Repeat offenders are their bread and butter. The more there are, the more they make.
It also strikes me as odd that some states ban convicted felons even AFTER they served their time. It makes no sense… We want former prisoners to become active citizens after their release, but we say “you can’t be a part of the citizenry in all aspects, including the right to vote.”
Why? Ask the Republican controlled legislatures why they pass these laws. Oh, right, most prisoners in the US are people of color and most of them would get out and vote for Democrats.