Imagine living in a country where prisons are private corporations that profit from keeping their beds stocked at, or near, capacity and the governing officials scramble to meet contractual “lockup quotas.” Imagine that taxpayers would have to pay for any empty beds should crime rates fall below that quota. Surprise! You already live there.
A new report from In the Public Interest (ITPI) revealed last week that private prison companies such as Corrections Corporation of America are striking deals with states that contain clauses guaranteeing high prison occupancy rates. The report, "Criminal: How Lockup Quotas and 'Low-Crime Taxes' Guarantee Profits for Private Prison Corporations," documents the contracts exchanged between private prison companies and state and local governments that either guarantee prison occupancy rates, essentially creating inmate lockup quotas, or force taxpayers to pay for empty beds if the prison population decreases due to lower crime rates or other factors, essentially creating low-crime taxes. Some of these contracts require 90 to 100 percent prison occupancy.
The report notes that contract clauses like this incentivize criminalization, and do nothing to promote rehabilitation, crime reduction or foster humanity.
Reverend Michael McBride, of Urban Strategies and Lifelines to Healing said “…all people of any faith or no faith at all can claim it’s reprehensible to imprison someone for making money or financial motives…”
CCA Executive Management profiting off incarceration.