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Intro: "The nation's largest private prison company is offering cash-strapped state governments to buy up their penitentiaries and manage convicted criminals at a cost-savings. But there's a catch ..."

Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) is offering to buy prisons around the country with one catch, states would have to guarantee 90% occupancy. (image: Beyond the Curtain)
Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) is offering to buy prisons around the country with one catch, states would have to guarantee 90% occupancy. (image: Beyond the Curtain)

Private Prison Company to Demand 90% Occupancy

By Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov

19 February 12


he nation's largest private prison company is offering cash-strapped state governments to buy up their penitentiaries and manage convicted criminals at a cost-savings. But there's a catch…the states must guarantee that are there are enough prisoners to ensure that the venture is profitable to the company.

Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) has reached out to 48 states as part of a $250 million plan to own existing prisons and manage their operations. But in return CCA wants a 20-year contract and assurances that the state will keep the prisons at least 90% full.

In the past CCA has operated its own prisons and contracted with states to house inmates. But until now the company never offered to essentially take over public corrections systems.

Ohio already has sold one of its largest prisons to CCA. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal wanted last year to sell three of his state's prisons to the company, but the legislature refused to go along.

Critics of the plan warn that if states commit to CCA's deal, they could find themselves with little bargaining power down the road once it comes time to negotiate new contracts. And, if the crime rate continues dropping, will police, prosecutors and judges feel compelled to supply human "product" for the prisons anyway? your social media marketing partner


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+97 # angryspittle 2012-02-19 16:33
What a perversion of justice. We already incarcerate a larger percentage of our population than any other nation and private for profit prisons will only guarantee more prisoners.
+71 # nice2blucky 2012-02-19 16:53
These places need to be shut down, not guaranteed occupancy.

The State is likely imagining 99%er occupancy.
+73 # neddycat 2012-02-19 17:59
Ridiculous! I agree 100% with angryspittle, and there has already been a case where a judge, who had a kickback agreement with a juvenile "boot camp," was finally charged and convicted after sending first-offense juveniles who had committed ridiculously paltry offenses. This is one way they trick us into thinking the cost of government is shrinking in that there are fewer government employees - but usually these sleights of hand cost more - often way more - Blackwater, anyone? I get SO angry when candidates proudly proclaim that they would a better President because they have "business" experience. Really? The purposes are TOTALLY different. Business exists to make a profit - which is why the government should not normally be contracting for services. The government exists to provide services to its citizens.
+75 # Richard Raznikov 2012-02-19 18:54
Even without the 90% part of the deal, handing over the running of prisons to a private corporation is a deeply flawed, anti-democratic proposition. Only fascism divides the state from its responsibilitie s toward its incarcerated.

In a democratic society, the government has an absolute obligation to oversee prisons, including conditions for inmates. Privatizing them invites abuses, torture, deprivation, and the worst aspects of prison life.

Any governor who supports this should be impeached and any legislator who supports it should be recalled. Unless we just don't care anymore.
+2 # Karlus58 2012-02-21 09:20
Rick Scott in Florida wanted it....sell off 26 prisons the public tax dollar built. It was the same proposal. I hear the State Senate didn't buy it and voted it down.
+33 # Majikman 2012-02-20 00:25
The next logical progression to privatized prisons is slave labor. Gotta maximize those profits for the execs.
+5 # Karlus58 2012-02-21 09:21
It's happening as we read the news...prison inmates are corporate slaves already.
+30 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-02-20 00:48
Land of the free: 5% world population; 25% world carceral population.

When are the French going to ask the statue of Liberty be sent back?
+21 # Holmes 2012-02-20 01:04
Is this another name for slavery with a difference, State support is expected as well? Then you do not have to shell out anything for slaves. What a racket! Al Capone eat your heart out.

What about the issue of criminal rehabilitation. Oops sorry, they are by definition the under class deserving of nothing.

Just like defence. Create panic & fear and then one can by pass any voter scrutiny of the transfer of funds from the tax payers to the companies in that industry. Ike was right.

I wonder when they will be stood against the wall and.......
+30 # Margolicious 2012-02-20 02:31
Ohio governor Kasich, Mitch Daniels, Scot Walker and other Republican governors are fascist pigs. These big crooks what to privatize everything to reward the evil corporations that paid for their elections. Kasich etc. and other elected Republicans campaigns were funded by ALEC and owe all these crooked corporations favors.
+38 # Smiley 2012-02-20 03:06
This is seriously dealing with the devil. The concept of for profit prisons is evil.
+22 # tedrey 2012-02-20 06:42
This move is so clearly positioned to intensify both the "war on drugs" and the incarceration of "illegals," (central Republican positions,) that I wouldn't be surprised if both CCA and governors were being paid off to push it.
+1 # Karlus58 2012-02-21 09:23
I'm sure you most likely have already found Obama has ramped up Federal forces against medical marijuana dispensaries, despite states passing legal provisions for them.
+33 # mscw42 2012-02-20 07:57
I think the whole idea is appalling.

Any chance they could fill the jails with the banksters, corporate lobbyists, and Wall Street criminals who have destroyed our economy? How about those who "outed" Plame? How about our war criminals from our government?
+23 # Kimberly999 2012-02-20 08:01
This is another way that government has abdicated its responsibility and handed a gift to capitalist cronies. Crime, punishment and rehabilitation should not generate a profit. This should be a net-neutral proposition for ethical & oversight reasons. Richard is correct that we need to fight this on the local level.
+22 # Floridatexan 2012-02-20 09:07
Margo, don't leave Florida governor Rick Scott off your list. The legislature has just denied his bid to privatize 27% of Florida prisons, but he won't be stymied; apparently he's decided to go ahead without legislative approval. For the life of me, I can't understand how people voted for this known criminal. Is it possible, after the 2008 meltdown, that people still don't understand white-collar crime? D*** Republicans.
+14 # Kootenay Coyote 2012-02-20 09:22
+9 # Doubter 2012-02-20 14:52
+3 # L mac 2012-02-20 18:37
That almighty $ at work.
+1 # ozken 2012-02-20 19:20
Hey why not 99% full? You said everything I would like to have said angryspittle and others. Darkness, obscene, appaling, evil, slavery. The trouble is where are the huddled masses of America going to go?
+2 # Buddha 2012-02-21 15:19
And the Drug War continues, as the powerful interests making a mint on the incarceration of our citizens insist on it. It is so bad that many of our States spend more on prisons than education. I'm getting seasick from the lateral motion as our nation swirls down the toilet.
+3 # pro 2012-02-22 06:19
Disgusting to know that our country as 20 times the number of
inmates per capital than any democracy in the world. Shame on
us turning this dysfunctional, inhumane system into a business.
Out with the business, in with rehab skill training, out with personal
use drug arrests. One more sign of America's shame.

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