Private Prison Exec: Bad Schools, Affluence, and Loose Borders Will Keep the Money Coming In

Private Prison Exec: Bad Schools, Affluence, and Loose Borders Will Keep the Money Coming In
December 22 13:57 2015 Print This Article

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.

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.

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5 comments
Johnw11
Johnw11

What this is about is the neoliberal (financializing) of social-control. The policies of social-control have resulted in the U.S. being about 5% of the world's population, but socially controlling via incarceration 25% of the world's prisoners. One (1) out of eight (8) of all incarcerated persons in the world is an African America. In fact, we know that there are at least 1.5 million Black men "missing" from U.S. society due to incarceration or early graves.

While March -- vice president and treasurer of the CEO private-prison corporation-- may have claimed in the above article that "poor schools" are one of the reasons his corporation will continue to have great profits; upon further analysis his statement is full of crap and he knows it.

The reason his cells will remain fully occupied is due to PUBLIC POLICIES that increasingly "criminalize" trivia behaviors, and targets people, especially Blacks, for incarceration. (See Watchful's link below.)

Moreover, from its inception, the Obama administration has consistently proposed increased budgets for prisons in general and private prisons in particular. For example, his FY13 budget proposed a 4.2% increase in the prison budget, resulting in an overall budget of $6.9 billion for prisons. (See: "President Obama's IncarcerNation.") http://www.nationofchange.org/president-obama-s-incarcenation-1335274655

He even appointed Broderick Johnson, a lobbyist for GEO, as his chief re-election advisor in 2011. That's how well connected these private prison operating people are to policy-power.

So if poor schools are considered by policy makers to be an environmental "shaper" of incarceration, then that explains why no effort has been made to improve schools for Blacks.  While I do not buy the "poor schools" argument as causative on its face, it is clear that "privatization" is but a side beneficiary of massive programs of social control. In fact, even the public schools are now being privatized. The rationale being that they perform poorly. But the real reason is neoliberal financialization of public education. So, blaming so-called "poor schools" for incarceration rates is simply feeding the narrative. This is particularly true since despite the steady decrease in the rates of traditional crime (which is why new behaviors must be criminalized) prison budgets and incarceration rates have increased. This completely destroys the "high-crime rates = high incarceration rates" hypothesis (narrative).

In her great book "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in The Age of Colorblindness," the author makes clear the reason and cause of mass incarceration of Blacks.

Watchful
Watchful

@Johnw11


U're absolutely correct, John ... and another reason y they feel confident about keeping those prison beds occupied is the so-called 'school to prison pipeline' that we've witnessed in recent years where they're now even criminalizing us at the kindergarten level. Check out this article, if the link doesn't work for u, just do a search for the 'School to Prison Pipeline Starts in Preschool ' and u should find it. 


http://www.thenation.com/article/school-prison-pipeline-starts-preschool/

Johnw11
Johnw11

@Watchful  Great comment and great link.

Links seem to almost never work for me ("bug," LOL) that's why I always provide the name of articles so they can be searched directly.

Watchful
Watchful

@Johnw11 


Yeah, John ... if only we had some type of software insecticide for those damn 'bugs'. : )