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Tue Jan 22, 2013, 03:34 AM

 

Modern Slaves



The nation’s largest private prison company, the Corrections Corporation of America, is on a buying spree. With a war chest of $250 million, the corporation, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, this month sent letters to 48 states, offering to buy their prisons outright. To ensure their profitability, the corporation insists that it be guaranteed that the prisons be kept at least 90 percent full. Plus, the corporate jailers demand a 20-year management contract, on top of the profits they expect to extract by spending less money per prisoner.

For the last two years, the number of inmates held in state prisons has declined slightly, largely because the states are short on money. Crime, of course, has declined dramatically in the last 20 years, but that has never dampened the states’ appetites for warehousing ever more Black and brown bodies, and the federal prison system is still growing. However, the Corrections Corporation of America believes the economic crisis has created an historic opportunity to become the landlord, as well as the manager, of a big chunk of the American prison gulag.

The attempted prison grab is also defensive in nature. If private companies can gain both ownership and management of enough prisons, they can set the prices without open-bid competition for prison services, creating a guaranteed cost-plus monopoly like that which exists between the Pentagon and the military-industrial complex.

If private companies are allowed to own the deeds to prisons, they are a big step closer to owning the people inside them.

The Corrections Corporation of America believes the economic crisis has created an opportunity to become the landlord of a big chunk of the American prison gulag.

But, for a better analogy, we must go back to the American slave system, a thoroughly capitalist enterprise that reduced human beings to units of labor and sale. The Corrections Corporation of America’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission read very much like the documents of a slave-trader. Investors are warned that profits would go down if the demand for prisoners declines. That is, if the world’s largest police state shrinks, so does the corporate bottom line. Dangers to profitability include “relaxation of enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction or parole standards and sentencing practices or through the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by our criminal laws." The corporation spells it out: “any changes with respect to drugs and controlled substances or illegal immigration could affect the number of persons arrested, convicted, and sentenced, thereby potentially reducing demand for correctional facilities to house them." At the Corrections Corporation of America, human freedom is a dirty word.

But, there is something even more horrifying than the moral turpitude of the prison capitalists. If private companies are allowed to own the deeds to prisons, they are a big step closer to owning the people inside them. Many of the same politicians that created the system of mass Black incarceration over the past 40 years, would gladly hand over to private parties all responsibility for the human rights of inmates. The question of inmates' rights is hardly raised in the debate over prison privatization. This is a dialogue steeped in slavery and racial oppression. Just as the old slave markets were abolished, so must the Black American Gulag be dismantled – with no compensation to those who traffic in human beings.

From Tom R.

17 replies, 1574 views

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Arrow 17 replies Author Time Post
Reply Modern Slaves (Original post)
Whovian Jan 2013 OP
msongs Jan 2013 #1
TDale313 Jan 2013 #2
AnnieK401 Jan 2013 #11
KansDem Jan 2013 #3
Whovian Jan 2013 #4
Skittles Jan 2013 #9
6502 Jan 2013 #5
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #7
MelungeonWoman Jan 2013 #10
proReality Jan 2013 #14
6502 Jan 2013 #15
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #17
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #6
Scuba Jan 2013 #8
AnnieK401 Jan 2013 #12
ReRe Jan 2013 #13
Whovian Jan 2013 #16

Response to Whovian (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 03:38 AM

1. a progressive government would outlaw privatized prisons. wish we had one nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 03:53 AM

2. Couldn't agree more.

For profit prisons should not be allowed.

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Response to msongs (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 05:52 AM

11. +1000

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Response to Whovian (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 04:11 AM

3. I've never understood the concept of "private prisons."

If the state (people) takes away the rights of a citizen due to that citizen's inability to live within the laws set down by the state (people), then it's the responsibility of the state (people) to incarcerate that citizen. It should not turn him over to a corporation.

How does one justify the stripping of rights and the holding of citizens against their will as a responsibility of "private enterprise?"

That is just plain wrong: ethically and morally.

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Response to KansDem (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 04:15 AM

4. Bam. Succinctly said.

 

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Response to KansDem (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 05:13 AM

9. it's a republican wet dream

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Response to Whovian (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 04:57 AM

5. []=> Stop WISHING and do something...

.... really.

If you're really serious about doing something (and not just complaining about it), go to https://dashboard.barackobama.com/join and JOIN A GROUP TO THAT WORKS TO FIX THIS PROBLEM!

And if there isn't already a group for this then CREATE THE GROUP YOURSELF!

Once again, the URL is: https://dashboard.barackobama.com/join

Now, I shouldn't come back to DU and find anybody on this thread complaining about an issue saying "I wish this..." and "The government isn't really that..".

This is a big opportunity.
Use it.

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Response to 6502 (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 05:09 AM

7. here's what i get when i click on the faq:

 

No help desk at dashboard2012.zendesk.com

The help desk configured at this address is no longer available.

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Response to 6502 (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 05:43 AM

10. I clicked the link...

at the bottom of the page I clicked Connect with groups that share your interests
and got,

Sorry, we couldn't find the page you're looking for
Head back to your Dashboard
Ask a question or share feedback

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Response to 6502 (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 07:06 AM

14. This is what I get when I click on the link...

"Join Dashboard, the online organizing community working to re-elect President Obama. The campaign depends on your participation."

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Response to 6502 (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 04:30 AM

15. [FIX]=> I got a direct SIGN-UP link for you all...

https://login.barackobama.com/account/new

I can see how you missed this.
Right under the "Join Dashboard" box, there is a link with the caption:

Already have an account? Click here to log in


If you click that it takes you to a login screen where you can actually login directly with your Facebook account, if you want (many people have a Facebook account, so that would have worked if you choose that path).

Anyway, on that page is the big "Log in to Dashboard" button.

Just right below that button is the following:

Don't have an account? Create an account


When you click that it will take you to https://login.barackobama.com/account/new
where you can create a new account on that site.

But, seriously, since odd are you have Facebook accounts, it's better to log in that way. They have really good tools to help Progressives make good use of Facebook.

Anyway... I really wish I was more clear before.

And... now that you know how to log in correctly, rather than "The government sure isn't..." and "The government isn't really an X..." posts, I should instead see posts by people who identify the issue and indicate what they are doing on Obama's Dashboard to change things.

I've already started.

If you have any problems logging in, PLEASE direct message me on DU. I'd be glad to help you get started.

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Response to 6502 (Reply #15)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 04:41 AM

17. thanks, but -- i just wanted to see the faq. i don't like sites that ask you to give information

 

before they will give you any information, even about what they're doing. which is all i wanted to find out, what the site was doing, what its purpose was.

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Response to Whovian (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 05:06 AM

6. kr

 

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Response to Whovian (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 05:09 AM

8. The concept of private prisons is disgusting. Is there a citation for this post?

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Response to Whovian (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 06:04 AM

12. I am afraid Rick Scott here in FL will go for it.

Notified my FB friends that if I disappear from FB to send out a search party. I would not make a good "prison slave" in an orange jump suit. Actually, some prisons here in FL are already "privatized."

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Response to Whovian (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 06:36 AM

13. K&R

...Do you have a link to this, Whovian? It's a very serious problem and I would like to know more about it and what we can do about it... Thanks!

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