Diane Mufson | The Herald-Dispatch (Huntington W.VA)
In the past few decades, America’s prison population has grown exponentially, in part due to drugs, mental health issues, get-tough policies and the economy. This has led to prison overcrowding and increased incarceration costs.
In the 1980s, privately run prisons were advocated as more cost efficient than public ones. Many states endorsed this idea to save money.
Recent data indicate that prison privatization has more negatives than anticipated. It is becoming clear that privatizing prisons is not the answer to prison financial problems.
People familiar with the concept of prisons believe that incarceration is not just to protect society from dangerous people and to exact retribution from those who have done wrong, but to try to modify anti-social behaviors and return better-functioning citizens to society.
That is why the agency controlling prisons is often referred to as the Department of Corrections. They are supposed to correct prisoners’ behavior…
While there are a few small companies in the private prison business, there are two main groups, the Corrections Corporation of America, CCA, (great name!) and the Geo Group, who are major players in this field. Now CCA has announced it has a few hundred million dollars available to buy more prisons…
The companies trying to buy the prisons are in business for one thing and one thing only — to make money. There’s nothing wrong in wanting to make money. It is just that prison ownership reaps big benefits mainly to owners…privatizing prisons is not a good option…(Full text at The Herald-Dispatch)
By way of a full public confession, this is one of those rare occasions Paco more-or-less ignored Fair Use guidelines and excerpted WAY TOO MUCH–Dr. Mufson’s opinion piece is spot on and I could not bring myself to excerpt a paltry paragraph or 2. So, I encourage you to click through and read the entire article at The Herald-Dispatch in the hope the additional traffic persuades the editors to cut Paco some slack!
Besides, I edited out some of her best stuff…read it all.