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Thread: For-Profit Prisons

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    tWebber Leonhard's Avatar
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    For-Profit Prisons

    I just recently learned that the US runs prisons which are entirely privately owned, and run for-profit, that is there's a net income that goes to pay dividends to investors and fat paychecks to the company owners.

    Is this a thing people in the US are just okay with?

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leonhard View Post
    I just recently learned that the US runs prisons which are entirely privately owned, and run for-profit, that is there's a net income that goes to pay dividends to investors and fat paychecks to the company owners.

    Is this a thing people in the US are just okay with?
    Im not. There is no way that will not result in significant abuses without draconian government oversite.

    Jim
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    tWebber Leonhard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oxmixmudd View Post
    Im not. There is no way that will not result in significant abuses without draconian government oversite.

    Jim
    I honestly just don't get it. There's just something that feels extremely wrong about it to me. All prisons in Denmark are institutions made by the government.

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    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leonhard View Post
    I honestly just don't get it. There's just something that feels extremely wrong about it to me. All prisons in Denmark are institutions made by the government.
    It is not just a US thing, Australia, UK and New Zealand are much worse percentage wise...

    In 2013, countries currently using private prisons or in the process of implementing such plans included Brazil, Chile, Greece, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, Peru, South Africa and Thailand. However, at the time, the sector was still dominated by the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand

    In 2018, 18.4% of prisoners in Australia were held in private prisons. This was much higher than the rate for the United States which was 8.4%. [4]

    In 2018, 10% of prisoners in New Zealand were housed in private prisons

    18.46% of prisoners in England and Wales were housed in private prisons.
    15.3% of prisoners in Scotland were housed in private prisons.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_prison
    Last edited by seer; 07-14-2019 at 01:21 PM.
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    tWebber Teallaura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leonhard View Post
    I just recently learned that the US runs prisons which are entirely privately owned, and run for-profit, that is there's a net income that goes to pay dividends to investors and fat paychecks to the company owners.

    Is this a thing people in the US are just okay with?
    I'm not fond of it but I've been inside both. The private one I visited was a considerably better facility and also a fairly small one. I see a place for them but as a regulated augmentation of the public system.

    But the truth is, all prisons require active oversight.

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    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leonhard View Post
    I honestly just don't get it. There's just something that feels extremely wrong about it to me. All prisons in Denmark are institutions made by the government.
    I think one of the problems with private prisons is that the contracts are awarded by politicians. Just like securing any other government contract, there's a whole lot of room for shenanigans.

    On the other hand, several "government" prisons with which I have been associated had RIDICULOUS government oversight, like not allowing bars on windows, and specifying square foot of window per square foot of floor space formulas.

    One of the County Jails (which was not allowed to be called a jail) had to have color TVs in the Rec room, along with a slate pool table. In the first month of operation, there were 7 prison breaks involving 23 inmates. The prisoners pried up the slate from the pool table, smashed it through the plexiglass window of the rec room (no bars) and simply stepped out into the yard, and off into the woods.

    One day I stopped by that particular county "correctional facility", and asked to see my Sheriff's Administrator friend, Captain Smith. I asked a deputy where I might find Captain Smith, and he pointed over to the tree line at the back of the facility, and said, "last time I saw Mike, he was at that fence line yelling 'oh, come on, y'all come back, PLEASE?'"

    Truth is, government and private sector can both screw up incarceration pretty badly.

    ETA: That was the facility where somebody changed the "Deer Crossing" sign to "Prisoner Crossing".
    Every problem is the result of a previous solution.

  7. Amen Leonhard, Teallaura amen'd this post.
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    tWebber Leonhard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke
    One of the County Jails (which was not allowed to be called a jail) had to have color TVs in the Rec room,
    Is that considered a luxury in the South. TV's capable of color that is?

    I'm sorry, its just the way this was put. Maybe you just put the word color in front of TV in general? But now I can't help but imagine a warden insisting on old B&W televisions because its cheaper.

  9. Amen Cow Poke amen'd this post.
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    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leonhard View Post
    Is that considered a luxury in the South. TV's capable of color that is?
    Laughing. It's just typical government language - it actually specified "color TVs", like somebody was gonna slip in a monochromatic one.

    But, then again, that was prior to the "LCD Flat Panel" craze.
    Every problem is the result of a previous solution.

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    tWebber Leonhard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke
    Truth is, government and private sector can both screw up incarceration pretty badly.
    Maybe its just my positive experience with danish prisons that bias me somewhat on that. I do know that government contracts can often be bungled, and end up costing them far more money than necessary. However there's just something that irks me with having a private company be responsible for prisoners. Where holding prisoners becomes a source of profit and income. There's something gross and disgusting about that. With people reduced to dollar bills, and the incentive structure seeming completely off.

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    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leonhard View Post
    Maybe its just my positive experience with danish prisons that bias me somewhat on that. I do know that government contracts can often be bungled, and end up costing them far more money than necessary. However there's just something that irks me with having a private company be responsible for prisoners. Where holding prisoners becomes a source of profit and income. There's something gross and disgusting about that. With people reduced to dollar bills, and the incentive structure seeming completely off.
    And now, for some actual sources of data.


    Every problem is the result of a previous solution.

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