In 1978, Arizona had about 3,200 inmates. Today, the total is more than 31,000 and growing, with much of the momentum attributable to the private prison lobby--which recently succeeded in getting the industry exempted from most state taxes, reports The Nation magazine. Private prison companies lure state-employed guards by offering short-term bonuses and pay raises. They do not dwell on the fact that, unlike unionized state prison guards--whose union, AFSCME, has negotiated a generous, and guaranteed, pension package over the years--private guards receive a benefits package that in the long term is . . .
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