This week, I’m going to talk about the possible influences that large private institutions have on prison sentence severity. While looking for more information on this article that covers this topic. It highlights the corruption of the prison system caused by the desire of these companies to gain a profit.
As it stands right now, 1 in 100 Americans is in prison at any given time. That’s significantly higher than 1980, even though the violent crime rate has declined since then. So, how could that be? More crimes must be warranting prison time than before. With an increase in prisoners, it has become much more expensive for states to pay for the housing, food, etc of the prisoners. As of this article, which was published in 2012, the CCA had proposed to 48 states an offering to purchase the public prisons and operate them for a cheaper amount than the states were. But here’s the catch: the states would have to ensure an occupancy of over 1,000 people at all times. With this contract pushing for more people to be sentenced to prison time, more and more crimes could end up garnering this punishment. I plan on looking into this to see if the offer was ever accepted (I doubt it) and will let you all know with an update.
An example of this influence that private institutions have on the judicial system is found in the “kids for cash” scandal in Pennsylvania (2009). Two judges were paid an excess of 2.6 million dollars to send first time offending teenagers to prison for misdemeanor crimes such as stealing DVD’s and trespassing in abandoned buildings. Even though the two judges were eventual sent to prison for a combined 45.5 years, they ruined many teenagers lives.
Examples like these point me towards the conclusion that there is no objective for these private institutions other than to gain a profit. The more I look into this subject, the more I believe that private prisons need to be abolished or reformed severely.
Thanks for reading and let me know what you all think about the influence of these private institutions on the judicial system.