Debt

How For-Profit Companies Fuel ‘Cash Register Justice’

Contracting out alternative sentencing programs to private companies is an increasingly attractive option for cash-strapped local governments. But it also saddles thousands of low-income offenders with spiraling debt that can send them to prison if they can’t pay, writes an Oregon law professor.

Private Prison Ban Leaves Many Facilities, Services Intact

The devil is in the details of President Joe Biden’s executive order banning private prisons. Its ultimate impact on private prison companies, their shareholders, and most critically, the over two million people in U.S. prisons and detention centers, public and private is unclear, writes Morgan Simon in Forbes.

protest

Private Prisons Drive Up Cost of Incarceration: Study

The much-advertised bargain to taxpayers provided by private prisons is mostly eradicated by the longer terms served by their inmates, according to a Wisconsin economist. Her comparative study of prisons in Mississippi also found higher rates of recidivism among private incarcerees, further adding to public safety costs.

vote

Private Prisons Donate $1.9M in Runup to Election

Fearing a Biden-Harris victory in November, the private prison industry’s campaign donations have increased 14 percent since 2016 while it also secures new contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. As a result, the future of private prisons is all but secured.   

protest

Do For-Profit Prisons Violate the Constitution?

More than 120,000 inmates are housed in facilities operated by private corporations under contract with the federal and state governments. While that amounts to a relatively small fraction of the total U.S. incarcerated population, for-profit prisons “diminish equality” in the nation’s justice system and should be abolished, says a University of Baltimore Law Review paper.