As someone who’s had family members and comrades in the clink, I hate fuckin prisons. Banks like Wells Fargo invest and profit from privately owned prisons. Divestment campaigns have been successful in the putting the hurt into evil fuckin companies, and some grassroots peeps have been raising the alarm about corporate jails. They have called for a national day of action today, December 13, 2012.
In the mid-eighties, the U.S. government began to outsource jailing people. The first contract, in 1984, went to Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), still the largest for-profit prison company in the country. Private prisons moved into communities left behind by the globalized economy. Heavily subsidized by taxpayer money even before receiving public contracts, they built thousands of cells throughout the country.
Then they had to fill those cells. How do you drum up business if you’re a for-profit prison industry? By making sure there’s a steady stream of prisoners. For every human being sent behind their bars, CCA or the second giant in the industry GEO Group, make approximately $122 a day, per head. CCA reported $1.7 billion in gross revenue last year, nearly half from government contracts.
That’s a powerful incentive to lock people up. In recent years, the most effective strategy for “market expansion” in the private prison industry has been to criminalize immigrants.