Recently, private prison corporations like the Corrections Corporation of America have been urging states to sell them their prisons under the promise that the private sector can administer them better and cheaper. But looking at a recent study out of Arizona, these prison corporations aren’t living up to their promise. According to the Tucson Citizen, private prison contracts are actually costing taxpayers $3.5 million more per year than if the state just ran their own prisons.
But beyond being a bad deal economically, private for-profit prisons are bad for our freedom. By injecting the profit-motive into incarceration, then there’s incentives to lock more and more Americans up. Which is why for-profit prisons use groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council – or ALEC – to lobby for stricter drug and immigration laws to throw more people in prisons, and thus collect bigger profits.
This is one of many dangerous side effects to unfettered corporate capitalism, it turns everything into a commidity.