Media Roots is a citizen journalism project that reports the news from outside of party lines while providing a collaborative forum for conscious citizens, artists and activists to unite.
Our story begins in the year 1984 when a company by the name of Corrections Corporation of America took hold of the country’s very first full corrections facility contract for the state of Tennessee. This would mark the beginning of a corporate takeover of our nations correctional system. Since then, our country’s prison system has been turned into a for-profit money-making machine which continues to swallow up the economy’s number one resource-the people. The prison stripes have now become the profits of the pin-stripes. Prisoners are now the new-age slaves producing one of the fastest growing industries in the west. This privatization of the prison system is a detriment to the future of our nation and is another example of corporate exploitation of humans to feed the greed of the few.
At the inception of this cultural catastrophe, in 1984 there were 395,309 inmates within 903 state-run correctional facilities in the United States according to a census by the Department of Justice. In a census performed in 2005 they reported that those numbers had climbed to 1,430,208 prisoners within 1,821 correctional facilities. In 2010 as the number one prison profiteers of the world, the inmate population in the U.S. had climbed to 2,266,832. The amount of inmates over the past 28 years has increased almost 6 times what it was pre-privatization and currently private prisons only make up about half of the entire correctional system in the U.S. We can only assume that there must be a correlation between this massive increase in incarceration and the proliferation of for-profit prison institutions here in the United States. The question is will this trend continue and to what end?
In the early to mid 2000’s I was made privy to this injustice when a best friend of mine found himself caught within the United States correctional system. Upon his release, he and I discussed at great length about the prison in which he resided, he explained how this particular prison made its prisoners milk cows for 25 cents per day, which the corporation/prison would then turn around and sell for a corporate profit on the wholesale market. The 25 cents per day of course was never meant to leave the prison walls and served only as an incentive for prisoners to “work the land” so to speak in return for daily necessities such as soap, toothpaste, etc. This of course was shocking, as I being young and naive had believed in a prison system that was at least partially interested in the rehabilitation of society’s fallen. Unfortunately, this discovery implied a different sort of intention. It was an intention rooted in greed and I wondered then, as I do now, how ethical such a system is and what ills can be generated from it in the future if left unattended. What incentive does the corporation have in rehabilitating it’s slave labor force. It would seem that the opposite would be preferred by these corporate crime profiteers, and that rehabilitation would be contrary to their for-profit model.
In a country where corporations fight for perpetual progress how are we to believe that the intentions of a privatized prison system are none other than the propagation of crime as a way to increase overall profitability. To what extent are these companies willing to create new ways of increasing their profits and to what lengths will they go to protect their investment? According to some estimates the three major private prison companies of the United States: CCA, GEO and CSC have spent around 45 million dollars over the past 10 years on lobbying. What exactly are they spending their money on? Do “We the People” have any say in this purchasing of legislative action? Either way, it is clear that they intend to manipulate legislation to ultimately serve their own interests and not the collective interests of “the People.”
We live in a new era of corporate controlled serfdom which has paid the pockets of United States public servants-our leaders, in order to help establish a for-profit slave labor prison system. This system continues to grow and with no end in sight, the imprisoning of our nation’s citizens has become big business. With new legislation like the NDAA, the push for internet censorship, surveillance drones for U.S. streets and CCTV cameras being distributed throughout the country, it doesn’t seem too out of the realm of possibility that there will be rising profits in the coming years for companies like CCA. And, with perpetual annual progress serving as a cornerstone of contemporary corporate ambitions, we can project as they might, that greater percentages of Americans in the near future will find themselves under the ownership of the department of corporate corrections, and it is only a matter of time that we, on a personal level will be either directly or indirectly affected by our governments collusion with these private slave owners. This is a corporate conquest led by companies like CCA, which seek to exploit the human product to its fullest extent.
Over the past 18 years we have been witnessing the incremental imprisonment of “the land of the free” and it would seem our leaders and their corporate controllers are laying waste to our Freedoms on a multitude of fronts, all for the purpose of the consolidation of wealth and power. So it is our moral responsibility once again to call for the abolishment of slavery in this country and #endprivateprisons, and the support thereof by our leaders. If we are truly meant to be the “leaders of the free world” then it is of the utmost importance that we lead by example in all matters concerning human rights violations, even those matters which involve our society’s fallen and ill-favored. So let us all speak out against the privatization of the U.S. prison system and #EndPrivatePrisons & #AbolishModernSlavery.
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