Sunday, 16 September 2012

United States of Incarceration

So essentially the private prison sector (in this case represented by Corrections Corporation of America) is pushing to have governments enter into agreements to maintain 90% incarceration rates in prisons that are privately owned and run, or they won't invest.

This is a blatant new example of the private sector stepping in and forcing the government's hand. Governments have such enormous debts that they can't afford to fix the overcrowded prison systems. Rather than turning to alternative methods of correction (such as getting doctors, psychiatrists and therapists more heavily involved, and promoting meditation and internal focus and reflection, just to name one example) they are instead turning to a private sector who is preying on the population.

Tell me, then: what will happen if they can't maintain 90% occupancy rates?

Like anything else, there will be lobbying on behalf of the private sector to push for tougher sentencing laws, and harsher punishments for smaller crimes. Misdemeanor crimes will start to send young adults and juvenile offenders alike to prison when they otherwise would have simply received fines, probation and/or community service. See this article for one example of this already taking place.

The private sector maintaining the government on a financial leash, and commanding them to do their bidding in order to ensure that their profits continue to rise, doesn't equate to the purported democracy in which we live. It equates to a corporatocracy. It equates to a collusion between state and private interest to further clamp down their control over an already massively oppressed citizenry.

Slave labour isn't dead, it's just a new kind of less-obvious slave labour - running parallel with debt slavery... but that's a discussion for another day.

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