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Forum Post: Private Purchasing of Prisons Locks in Occupancy Rates at 90%

Posted 11 years ago on Sept. 12, 2012, 9 a.m. EST by TrevorMnemonic (5827)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

WASHINGTON – At a time when states are struggling to reduce bloated prison populations and tight budgets, a private prison management company is offering to buy prisons in exchange for various considerations, including a controversial guarantee that the governments maintain a 90% occupancy rate for at least 20 years.

The $250 million proposal, circulated by the Nashville-based Corrections Corporation of America to prison officials in 48 states, has been blasted by some state officials who suggest such a program could pressure criminal justice officials to seek harsher sentences to maintain the contractually required occupancy rates. "You don't want a prison system operating with the goal of maximizing profits," says Texas state Sen. John Whitmire, a Houston Democrat and advocate for reducing prison populations through less costly diversion programs. "The only thing worse is that this seeks to take advantage of some states' troubled financial position." STORY: Proposal to buy prisons raises ethical concerns Corrections Corporation spokesman Steve Owen defended the company's "investment initiative," describing it as "an additional option" for cash-strapped states to consider.

The proposal seeks to build upon a deal reached last fall in which the company purchased the 1,798-bed Lake Erie Correctional Institution from the state of Ohio for $72.7 million. Ohio officials lauded the September transaction, saying that private management of the facility would save a projected $3 million annually. Linda Janes, chief of staff for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, said the purchase came at time when the state was facing a $8 billion shortfall. The $72.7 million prison purchase was aimed at helping to fill a $188 million deficit within the corrections agency.

Ohio's deal requires the state to maintain a 90% occupancy rate, but Janes said that provision remains in effect for 18 months — not 20 years — before it can be renegotiated. As part of the deal, Ohio pays the company a monthly fee, totaling $3.8 million per year. Roger Werholtz, former Kansas secretary of corrections, said states may be tempted by the "quick infusion of cash," but he would recommend against such a deal.

"My concern would be that our state would be obligated to maintain these (occupancy) rates and subtle pressure would be applied to make sentencing laws more severe with a clear intent to drive up the population," Werholtz said.




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[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23771) 8 years ago

"Harvard University debate team loses to New York inmates"


Free the prisoners and end the Prison Industrial Complex.

[-] 1 points by ImNotMe (1488) 1 year ago

"Starved to Death in an American Jail, the Man Who Couldn't Pay $100 Bail"!!! by Eric Firkenhoff


[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (23771) 1 year ago

OMG, the cruelty of America. That is like the saddest thing I ever read.

RIP Larry Eugene Price, Jr. From Newsweek:

"From then, everything else that could have gone wrong for Price did. His mind lost, his health gone – and seemingly no one paying attention to his wellbeing – Price was dead a year later at 51. He was found in a solitary confinement cell with his eyes wide open, naked, starved, dried saliva on the corners of his mouth, in a pool of standing water so large his feet had shriveled. He had long since had his medication taken away. Toward the end, he had resorted to eating his own feces and drinking his own urine."

"This case represents everything that's wrong with the cash bail system," Heipt said. "It punishes the poor. He was essentially jailed for being in a mental health crisis. He didn't hurt anyone. If anything, he was the one who needed help. Instead of getting him that help, they took him to jail and locked him in solitary confinement for a year. This was a colossal systemic breakdown."

[-] 1 points by ImNotMe (1488) 11 months ago

So, "Why has this Georgia man been behind bars for 10 years awaiting trial?!" - by Andy Pierrotti:

& note: "Police arrested Maurice Jimmerson and four others in 2013 for murder. A jury acquitted two of them but for 10 years, Jimmerson has spent the majority of that time in a county jail, legally innocent"!!!

fiat lux et fiat justitia!

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (23771) 11 months ago

Advisory: Florida unsafe for black Americans


"Under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, the state of Florida has become hostile to Black Americans and in direct conflict with the democratic ideals that our union was founded upon," NAACP President & CEO Derrick Johnson said. "He should know that democracy will prevail because its defenders are prepared to stand up and fight. We're not backing down, and we encourage our allies to join us in the battle for the soul of our nation."

This is not a high point in our history.

[-] 1 points by ImNotMe (1488) 10 months ago


NB: "Weeks since the police killing of Manuel “Tortuguita” Tehran, residents continue to fight the planned construction of the Atlanta Public Safety Center. But the future they’re fighting to prevent concerns us all, not just the city of Atlanta."

caveat emptor!

[-] 1 points by ImNotMe (1488) 9 months ago

"Atlanta’s Attack on Cop City Protesters Should Be a Warning to Us All"! by Angela Y. Davis, and Barbara Ransby:

And note - "The fight against the militarized police training center dubbed “Cop City” is one of the great struggles of our time"! And finally, per this OP .. carefully consider the contents of this disturbing article:

respice, adspice - et caveat!

[-] 1 points by ImNotMe (1488) 9 months ago


NB "With a referendum against the police facility in the works, Atlanta is making sure it won’t be valid. Activists have other ways to fight"!

nota bene et caveat!

[-] 1 points by ImNotMe (1488) 8 months ago


"Body camera footage hidden for over a year reveals how sheriffs in Laredo, Texas, severed a man’s leg during an arrest."

fiat lux et fiat justitia!

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 11 years ago

Welcome to the future of the corporate/police state

Minor drug offenders fill your prisons, you don't even flinch. All our taxes paying for the wars against the new non-rich.

They're trying to build a prison. They're trying to build a prison.

The percentage of Americans in the prison system, prison system, has doubled since 1985

All research and successful drug policy shows that treatment should be increased. And law enforcement decreased while abolishing mandatory minimum sentences.

[-] 1 points by Nevada1 (5843) 11 years ago

More "Corporate War Of Aggression", against "We The People".

With privatization comes less accountability, and probably slave labor.

[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 11 years ago

booming slave labor in the prison system is the goal.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 11 years ago

That's a fascinating conspiracy theory that I haven't heard before, and I'm a conspiracy theory connoisseur.

[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 11 years ago

at 25 cents an hour

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 11 years ago

You should get out more.


"nearly a million prisoners are now making office furniture, working in call centers, fabricating body armor, taking hotel reservations, working in slaughterhouses or manufacturing textiles, shoes and clothing, while getting paid somewhere between 93 cents and $4.73 per day."

[-] -1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 11 years ago

That article doesn't really give the same kind of impression that you brought to mind of evil Mr Burns cackling while Homer breaks rocks on a chain gang in striped pajamas with an iron ball chained to his leg. I like your version better, that the "goal" of prison privatization is cheap labor. Definitely way more entertaining.

[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 11 years ago

Your condescending words do not change the facts I shared.

Nor is anything I said in previous comments remotely like the cartoon imagination you have.

Believe it or not there are people that want to exploit other people for profit.

The goal of prison privatization is profit.

Profit is seen from the slave labor mentioned above as other places like government funding.

Why wouldn't they want more prisoners when more prisoners make them profit? Why wouldn't they want prisoners doing labor if that also makes them a profit?

Did you read the original post about their dream deals of 90% occupancy rates?