Monday, September 23, 2013

The Real Reason Behind America's Exploding Prison Population (INFOGRAPHIC) - Occupy Democrats

The Real Reason Behind America's Exploding Prison Population (INFOGRAPHIC) - Occupy Democrats

The Real Reason Behind America’s Exploding Prison Population (INFOGRAPHIC)

It’s no secret that the United States has the highest rate of incarceration in the world or that the population of our prisons has literally exploded since the 1980′s when Ronald Reagan first declared the “war on drugs.” What might not be as well known is the profit motive that, like everything the right does, underscores the policies they create. On September 19th, 2013 the Huffington Post published this infographic, which shows the states in the US which have entered into contracts with private prison companies. Those prisons have an agreement with the state, which ensures that the prisons will remain at at least 90 percent capacity. If, at any time, the number of prisoners should drop below the quota, the state has an agreement to pay the company for the empty beds. Private prison companies emerged in the 1980′s, right along with Reagan’s war on drugs. While in the White House, Reagan also made a list of 78 industries that he felt should be privatized… and one was the prison industry. Surprised? It was during his term that the first private, for profit prison opened, in Hamilton County, Tennessee. The Corrections Corporation of America, which now operates for profit prisons across the country, got its start in 1984, with a little help from friends. Since the 1980′s the incarceration rate in the US has quadrupled, putting the country at the top of the world, in the number of citizens locked away behind bars. Our incarceration rate of more than 1 for every 100 persons, is a national disgrace. It should be clear by now that the war on drugs was motivated not by some moralistic idea of a drug free society, but by the potential profits which stood to be made off such mass incarceration of our own citizens. Jan Diehm of the Huffington Post created an infographic to illustrate the private prison problem. It is based on information released by the advocacy group ‘In the Public Interest’. The group examined hundreds of agreements between state governments and private prison companies, in order to compile a detailed report, which was released in September, 2013. They found that a majority of contractual agreements between states and private prison companies included a quota for keeping beds full. The lowest prisoner quota was 70 percent, while the highest, in Arizona, was 100 percent. The report found that the most common quotas for private prisons is 90 percent. Think about that. What’s the incentive to see the number of incarcerated individuals decline? Is there an incentive to reduce the overall crime rate? What’s the incentive for ensuring that we have a fair justice system or for ensuring that the people we lock up behind bars really deserve to be there? Under this system. there is no incentive to do any of these things. What’s worse, there is an opposite incentive, one that rewards both states and for profit prisons with cold, hard cash for putting as many people as possible behind bars, innocent or guilty, deserving or not deserving. It’s a system in which not locking people up behind bars, results in a monetary loss. In 2010, a group of three prisoners escaped from an Arizona private prison facility. After the three were apprehended weeks later, the state tried to get out of its contract with the private prison company that operated the facility, Management and Training Corp. Following an investigation which resulted in the state’s determination that the facility was “dysfunctional,” Arizona stopped sending new prisoners to that location. Management and Training Corp responded by threatening to sue the state for $10 million. Because of a contractual agreement, which guaranteed the prison would be kept at 97 percent capacity, the state eventually ended up paying $3 million, for refusing to send prisoners to a “dysfunctional” facility. For profit prisons are operating all around the United States. Diehm’s infographic only shows those which have a quota of 90 percent or higher. Most are located in the southern portion of the country, with Florida and Arizona having the greatest number of facilities with high prisoner quotas. Moving farther north, Ohio and Indiana each have a single facility with a 90 percent or higher quota. Surprisingly, the state of California, often considered to be one of the most liberal in the country, also has three such prisons operating within its borders. To be certain the United States needs to take a long hard look at the evidence regarding the country’s failed war on drugs. Democratic Representatives Sam Farr (CA), Maurice Hinchey (NY) and Pat Leahy, as well as others,  have at various times, proposed changes to existing federal drug enforcement policies. President Obama has taken steps to reduce mandatory sentences and alleviate some of the disparity with which the war on drugs has impacted minorities. Most recently, as a growing number of states pass legislation to legalize marijuana, the Department of Justice and the President have vowed not to pursue charges against residents who are not violating state laws. This is just the beginning of what needs to happen. A growing number of human rights, non-profit and religious organizations vehemently oppose the for profit prison industry and the monetary incentive that underscores their operation in the United States. Republicans however, are pushing to expand privatization, in spite of evidence that these policies are detrimental to the country as a whole. When profits provide the motivation for public policy, we see the negative impacts of those policies across the board. It’s up to us to determine if we want our justice system to represent justice or if we want it to be a for profit industry, which operates at the expense of human beings. Here’s the infographic from Huffington Post: 2013_09_PrivatePrisonsWIDE

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  • Top Commenter · Works at Benghazigate
    Yeah, evil to the core...Even more evil to lie about the real intentions behind their supposed leniency...... in an attempt to fool the public to believe THEY are against privatizing prisons for profit. The ruse of legalization of drugs just puts drug users/dealers on the register. They still have parameters to follow to stay in compliance, and sure, the little guy with a joint in his pocket because that's all he can afford isn't worth going after. The dude with money, but not too much -- money or knowledge, is the guy they're banking on. They'll still regulate what's "legalized", then have a reason to assume EVERYONE is guilty of something, regardless... Kinda like quinine, around for centuries, a remedy for what the gov't approved for treating malaria, but not leg cramps..they warned heavily against using quinine, the ingredient in tonic water giving it a bitter flavor for pain and cramping in the legs, but then regulate it by making it a prescription drug. Meanwhile, many drink tonic water and get the same safe relief without hardcore expensive prescription drugs. Democrats are not for humanitarian endeavors, quite the opposite. They love to pass out the propaganda that puts the weight on their opposition... Pull this leg, it plays jingle bells.

  • Eileen Welsh
    Privatizing prisons is evil.

  • Ceo Allen · · Delaware State University
    The new slavery... Let's not forget to mention African Americans make up 12% of the US population yet 51% of the prison population. And guess what most are locked up for.. Marijuana.. No wonder it's taking so long to legalize marijuana in the U.S.. Systematic racism at it's best!

    • Mark Long · School of Hard Knocks, University of Life
      Oh yeah, lets make it a racist thing!

    • Chino Aneke · Works at Spelman College
      Mark Long her comment was legitimate. She merely stated facts. Although I don't think it is a race thing rather than a class issue. Most middle/high class people who do drugs do not get caught. However, police are numerous in impoverished neighborhoods (whether white or black neighborhoods) and as a result, lower class individuals are more likely to get caught. It just so happens that most lower class individuals are Black.

    • Jonah Manke · Top Commenter · Works at Freelance PC Technician
      Mark Long It most certainly is a racist thing. THE DATA EMPIRICALLY SUPPORTS THIS FACT.

  • Mark Long · School of Hard Knocks, University of Life
    I don't agree with privatized, for profit prisons. There are 13 States that have them. We (as States)should not be guaranteeing a fill percentage. Business has risks, these companies have to assume "some" of that risk also. But, we must remember too, a great number of these inmates are very bad people and not in there for minor drug crimes. These "bad" ones can't be trusted for jobs. Too many people would be put at risk. Instead of privatizing the prison, how about we have a privatized factory located inside the prison fences. The prison being run by the "state", and the factory being run privately. The "state" pays for security, and the company pays the "state" a fair wage for it's employees. A very small part of that wage goes to the "employees" "store" account, the rest goes back to the state to pay for other prison operational costs, inmate restitution, court costs, etc. Ok, I thru the idea out there, elected officials and business investors, run with it....

    • Sean Charles · NJIT
      Your askew if you think a person that has been incarcerated is that much of a risk to greater society. I agree there are bad ppl, however the legal system rarely accurately depicts anyones crime. In addition this IS AMERICA everypne deserves a chance. we should empower these individuals to be come productive member of society, not further ostracize them. I do agree some ppl are simply bad apples, but the percentage of truly bad people is very small, most others are simply hungry, scared, or mentally incarcerated far before they were ever physically incarcerated.

  • Tim St Clair · Top Commenter · Supervisor at Secret agent
    Why isn't the GOP in jail for all their crimes?!

  • Wylie Mitchell · Top Commenter · Vampire Academy
    there aren't enough private prisons to support this. the only one in my area holds prisoners until their trials then ships them to state/federal run prisons for their sentences.the high incarceration rate isn't just from the war on drugs. we have the highest number of gangs as well.not to mention criminals from other countries moving to the us.there should be more people in prison not less. start with every gang member,child olester and politician in the country.

  • Ronny Reno · Fredericksburg, Virginia
    To me, it appears to be the new legalized slavery. Once they receive the prisoners, they get paid by the government to house them and they have the power over when they are released. That makes them property! There will always be people that profit off of tragedy.

  • Ronnie Williams · Top Commenter · Works at VA Medical Center
    These money hungry behind the scenes devils has been playing Ethnic groups, especially Black Americans like pawns for years!! Making money off of Black Americans since slaver was gone, they had to think up another White Man induced scheme!!!

    • Brandy Wilson · New Orleans, Louisiana
      So are we going to hold these young black ass holes accountable for their actions as well?

    • Ronnie Williams · Top Commenter · Works at VA Medical Center
      Yes we are!!

    • Chino Aneke · Works at Spelman College
      Ronnie Williams @Brandy Wilson They don't pick "young Black men" out of Law school or Medical school and lock them up. I am so tired of us making excuses for our own. Wrong is wrong. Yes, Blacks are more likely to be caught but you know a great way to not end up in prison? get your life right.

    • Mark Watson · Top Commenter · Saint Augustine, Florida
      @ Ronnie, talk is cheap! Let's put some talk into action...

    • · Top Commenter · Works at Benghazigate
      Chino Aneke I'd like to see what's REALLY going on and not the propaganda pimps promoting race relations as they want to see it --- Divided in hate --- This is not how we are daily, not in cities or suburbs. Divided we fall.. So They Divide us and conquer. How about Unite as citizens with more in common than we realize, at least not with these power drunk politicians on both sides playing us like pawns for their agenda. Imagine a rise of "PEOPLE", together, united against injustice for all. We're stronger together, and race relations are only as bad as Sharpton's greed and race baiting continues to generate funds for his bank account and he leads movements against imaginary forces against his cause. Sharpton is evil -- equally for blacks and whites.. Time to change the narrative to something based in truth and Reality. Time for a new voice, a strong brave voice who isn't afraid of the Whites and Blacks coming together as a force to contend with. I believe, without their intervening "help", we're better off and on equal ground. Putting race on any problem in society is weak, deceptive, and divisive. A powerful leader, strong, secure and with good intentions wouldn't fear it, he'd revere it.

  • Phil Breighner · Top Commenter · Retired at Self Employed Contractor
    So some of you idiots thing that drugs are fine. Give me a break, there are more drug related crimes than any other. Most of them just get a slap on the wrist. We need all the prisons we can get, lock the drug dealers and users up. Clean up the streets.

    • Laura Stilwell · Top Commenter · Works at Benghazigate
      Alcohol is a drug.. THE most deadly drug out there.. Drunk driving, drunk domestic violence, drunk on the job, alcoholism is rampant among pilots, drunks in dangerous withdrawals -- seizures, coma death, alcohol poisoning, accidents, disease, ruined families, ALCOHOL is legal, so it's got to be the safest of all other "poisons"... BULLSQUAT! Do another shot at last call, then get shoved out the door to drive home as the shot hits you while you're behind the wheel ... ACES... Clean up those streets... If they cared it'd be illegal to allow people to shove as much alcohol down their throat 30 minutes before the bar closes so they can get on the road with a deadly weapon, their vehicle!

  • Tiffaney Siriouthay · · John F. Kennedy High School
    Something has to be done to stop this.

  • Keith Soderbeck · · Owner/Retired at Northstar Construction
    We have it here also in stillwater's new jailhouse rock! It is evil to privatizing prisons.