There may be a groundswell of support behind opposition to private prisons, but private prison executives aren’t worried. As a matter of fact, one such executive was caught assuring shareholders that criminal justice reforms won’t undercut profits.
A senior executive put the fears of investment bankers to rest by breaking down how the industry will continue to profit.
“The reality is, we are a very affluent country, we have loose borders, and we have a bad education system,” said Shayn March, the vice president and treasurer of the Geo Group, according to The Intercept. “And all that adds up to a significant amount of correctional needs, which, thankfully, we’ve been able to help the country out with and states with by providing a lower cost solution.”
The comments were made at Barclays High Yield Bond & Syndicated Loan conference in June.
Private Prison Exec: Bad Schools, Affluence, and Loose Borders Will Keep the Money Coming InClick to tweet
A 2012 report up at Immigration Impact detailed how private prisons were using immigrant detention to fatten their own pockets:
The report, titled, “Privately Operated Federal Prisons for Immigrants: Expensive. Unsafe. Unnecessary,” documents the history of prison privatization in the U.S. Political initiatives and legislative reforms aimed at getting tough on crime led to an explosion in the prison population. Between 1980 and 2010, the federal prison population increased by 761 percent. Private prison corporations took advantage of the situation to contract out their services to the federal government, particularly the Immigration and Naturalization Service (now part of the Department of Homeland Security).
Even though crime continues to fall in the U.S., private prisons are raking in cash by taking advantage of how people, many of whom exist on the margins, are prosecuted and/or detained.