Have prisons become the most viable industrial complex of our generation? And what will corporations do to keep the prisons full?
Originally posted on National Corrections Oversight Coalition:
Last week, it emerged that the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) had sent a letter to 48 states offering to take their prisons off their hand in exchange for a quick infusion of cash. The only small catch was that the states would have to sign a contract guaranteeing 90% occupancy of those prisons for the next 20 years…
For decades now, many small towns across America that fell on hard times were only too happy to embrace the prison industry as their economic salvation. The CCA’s website features an article from the Texas Monthly magazine, entitled “Yes in my Back Yard: How Eden learned to stop worrying and love its private prison”, about one such town called Eden, which is apparently besotted with its CCA-owned detention center. While the CCA has become one of the leading local employers, the article cheerfully notes that “At least half the town’s 2,500 residents live behind bars.”