Saturday, November 10, 2012

Private Prisons and Corporate Profiteering

Occupy the Prison-Industrial Complex

Thursday, 08 November 2012

By Chip GibbonsTruthout | Op-Ed


Only a small percentage of prisons are private, but the privatization of prisons represents the worst of corporate profiteering from human suffering. Stories about private prison companies influencing policy are plentiful. A judge in Pennsylvania accepted bribes for sending juvenile offenders to a for-profit prison. Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) helped draft Arizona's draconian immigration law. Additionally, CCA recently sent a proposal to 48 governors offering to buy prisons as long as the states promised to keep them at 90 percent capacity for 20 years.

Many of the financial institutions that have already gathered the ire of Occupy are profiting from prisons. Wells Fargo, which received $38 billion from the bank bailout, was also the second-largest shareholder of GEO Group, a for-profit prison company, though its latest SEC filings show it recently dumped 75 percent of its GEO stock, a move which occupiers and their allies consider a major victory as they continue their efforts. In addition to investing in private prisons, both Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch write prison construction bonds.[1] Even when prisons are not private, Wall Street still finds a way to profit from them.

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