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Friday, February 24, 2017

Trumpism... The New Great Hope Of The Prison-Industrial Complex

Since the 1970s the prison population in the USA has grown by leaps and bounds. According to the International Centre for Prison Studies:
“No country incarcerates a higher percentage of its population than the United States at 716 per 100,000 people”. 
This fact stands out in light of our claim to being the “beacon of Freedom”. It is necessary that we ask why… Why do we lock away our people at such an outrageous rate? Unsurprisingly the answer to this question may lie at the very heart of our socio-economic ideal. At the very core of this issue is a version of capitalism …expressed as unbridled, rapacious greed.
Vicky Pelaez writes the following in an article titled “The Prison Industry in the United States: Big Business or a New Form of Slavery?” :
“There are approximately 2 million inmates in state, federal and private prisons throughout the country. According to California Prison Focus, “no other society in human history has imprisoned so many of its own citizens.” The figures show that the United States has locked up more people than any other country: a half million more than China, which has a population five times greater than the U.S. Statistics reveal that the United States holds 25% of the world’s prison population, but only 5% of the world’s people. From less than 300,000 inmates in 1972, the jail population grew to 2 million by the year 2000. In 1990 it was one million. Ten years ago there were only five private prisons in the country, with a population of 2,000 inmates; now, there are 100, with 62,000 inmates. It is expected that by the coming decade, the number will hit 360,000, according to reports.” 
Addressing the same issue, Andy Kroll writes the following in an article titled “This Is How Private Prison Companies Make Millions Even When Crime Rates Fall” published in Mother Jones magazine, Sept 2013:
“We are living in boom times for the private prison industry. The Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the nation’s largest owner of private prisons, has seen its revenue climb by more than 500 percent in the last two decades. And CCA wants to get much, much bigger: Last year, the company made an offer to 48 governors to buy and operate their state-funded prisons. But what made CCA’s pitch to those governors so audacious and shocking was that it included a so-called occupancy requirement, a clause demanding the state keep those newly privatized prisons at least 90 percent full at all times, regardless of whether crime was rising or falling.
Occupancy requirements, as it turns out, are common practice within the private prison industry. A new report by In the Public Interest, an anti-privatization group, reviewed 62 contracts for private prisons operating around the country at the local and state level. In the Public Interest found that 41 of those contracts included occupancy requirements mandating that local or state government keep those facilities between 80 and 100 percent full. In other words, whether crime is rising or falling, the state must keep those beds full.”

Paying The Piper... Calling The Tune
It has been reported that the Trump Campaign received significant contributions from those who hope to boost their profits from the mass incarceration that is a stain on America's conscience. Well they have made their investment in Trump, and now they are looking forward to reaping the benefits. They have paid the piper, and now they are calling the tune to which they hope he will march. How, you ask, will they halt the trend of locking up people for profit that Hillary Clinton promised would be reversed under her Presidency? For the answer to that question look no further than  the new vigor that now characterizes immigration enforcement laws. 
There are by conservative estimates now over 11 million undocumented persons living in the US. For decades the focus has been on acting mainly against those with criminal histories. By all indications that will now change. Enforcement will now target everyone of those living in the shadows. Those who have invested in locking up people for profit must be smiling... all the way to the bank.

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