Let me get this straight. Corporations such as CCA—Correctional Corporation of America—operate some of our prisons and, in doing so, seeks to make a profit. That is a dynamic to privatization: the profit motive makes for more efficient operations. CCA receives monies from the particular state with which it contracts for each prisoner it houses and feeds.
CCA seeks to run more prisons. Expansion of market-share, after all, is one of those silly, kookie things about capitalism.
50.8% of people incarcerated by Federal court system are incarcerated for drug offenses. The percentage of individuals incarcerated in the states’ systems is difficult to estimate. Given the way in which Marion County’s drug courts are so crowded, I would say a significant number of state inmates are incarcerated for drug offenses.
When private corporations run prisons and profit thereby, those corporations have a vested interest in enactment of laws that result in people being incarcerated. If all drugs were legalized, CCA would lose a lot of money.
Not only do the corporations profit from housing and feeding inmates, they profit from inmate labor. Items for the U.S. military, for example, are produced by inmate labor. A good point is raised about the telephone calls. Because the prime area of my practice is in the area of appellate law, many of my clients are incarcerated. I am billed a base rate each month for the simple ability to accept collect calls from the clients who are in facilities that have contracts with that particular company. Other facilities are services by other companies. There is a way around this. I can call the facility and arrange to call the inmate’s counselor at a pre-arranged time. I have a flat rate for LD calls on my plan.
Privatization does not work. In correctional facilities it is grossly unjust.