Property laws? Civil Liberties? Not when they stand in the way of profits:

“Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) has reached out to 48 states as part of a $250 million plan to own existing prisons and manage their operations. But in return CCA wants a 20-year contract and assurances that the state will keep the prisons at least 90% full.”

90% occupancy? I guess the marijuana laws cannot be overturned then or it would violate this 20 year contract.

Here is my compromise: Let’s fill the prisons with CCA Executives!

Category: Legal, Really, really bad calls, Taxes and Policy

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

33 Responses to “Contract Requires Prisons 90% Filled”

  1. catman says:

    we’re rednecks, we’re rednecks, dont’t know our ass from a hole in the ground. we’re rednecks, we’re rednecks. Keepin the niggers down. – Randy Newman

  2. gethoht says:

    The prison industrial complex is a disgusting institution. Let’s change the laws to become arbitrarily stricter(“tough” on crime), encourage recitivism(3 strikes and you’re out?) and laugh all the way to the bank. Meanwhile they leave in their wake the destruction of families and communities all over the country. I think there’s something very wrong with a country when it looks at criminality as a revenue stream instead of promoting real rehabilitation.

  3. Bill Wilson says:

    I know how to keep those prisons full, start prosecuting financial fraud.

  4. efrltd says:

    Having had a house broken into last year, let me say, “there’s plenty of raw material to fill the cells,” particularly if the courts and prosecutors would take the blinders off and realize the victims and the rest of you would be better off with them off the streets and behind bars for a long time. Crooks and mosquitoes, always with us.

  5. Brookwood says:

    Sorry for the accidental blind link above. “The Caging of America” from The New Yorker magazine.

  6. Pantmaker says:

    The entire anti-immigration SB 1070 theater here in Arizona was orchestrated by these douche bags and the current Gov. Brewer. The Brewer administration has been investigated for hiring Chuck Coughlin and Paul Senseman, both lobbyists for Corrections Corporation of America, as a policy advisor and communications director. If it wasn’t true you just couldn’t make this shit up. Oh yeah…marijuana…forget about it! Marijuana users are considered low hanging fruit to the CCA. The citizens of Arizona actually voted for and passed legalized medical marijuana for Arizona. Brewer then launched a campaign of goofy lawsuits to undo the entire thing after the vote. A federal judge in January finally threw out Brewer’s complaint against her state’s voter-approved medical marijuana law. Back to the old drawing board Jan.

  7. Union Agitator says:

    The full prisons are evidence of a massive societal failure. Any decent society would be trying like hell to find a way to get these men and women to adopt a less destructive life. I don’t imagine we could save every one, and I’m comfortable with locking up killers. But My God, there must be a better way. Now, they’re worse when they come out, then they were when they went in.

  8. A says:

    And…what are the odds that we’ll hear about judges (again) being bribed to convict young people who would normally suffer only probation.

    The 4P World: Power & Profit take Precedence over People.

  9. Frilton Miedman says:

    This is insanity.

    Privatizing, one more nail in the coffin for Democracy, possibly the last nail..

    Privatizing our penal system to profitable private entities, once the population abides enough with the law to the extent there aren’t enough incarcerations, we’ll need to make jay-walking, smoking, eating red meat or unpaid parking tickets felonies.

    Privatizing the military & intelligence ensures profitable private entities now dictate the safety/security of America, what happens to proprietary intelligence data & national security when a higher foreign bidder jumps in?

    This is modern-day Fascism, bearing close semblance to “Federalism” of the early United States.

    Federalists were eliminated in the 1790′s for the fact that too many Americans felt they too closely resembled monarchy or aristocracy and threatened Democracy.

    Ironically, the Koch brothers have been hard at work behind the scenes reviving Federalism, including using their influence over Supreme Court justices in the “Citizens United” decision, as well as “ALEC” which exercises an alarming level of control over state governments.

    Once gain, the root problem is money in politics, bribery is prohibited by the Constitution, yet it permeates everything in our political system.

  10. gman says:

    The US already keep the largest % of it population in prison in the developed world!

    Privatize the profits, socialize the costs!

  11. MikeW says:

    “What’s the point of having this superb military that you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?”

    - Madeleine Albright

    By that logic, what’s the use of building a prison if we can’t fill it with inmates?

  12. jaymaster says:

    Meh, seems like contract fluff.

    Realistically, that’s not a stretch goal at all.

    Unless the stretch is in REDUCING prison population levels to 90%…

  13. Frilton Miedman says:

    Mike, that was Albright’s comment on military force to stop the Bosnian ethnic cleansing/massacre’s to Colin Powell, Colin was against most military intervention….the hesitation to intervene led to the murder of women and children, a total of more than 35,000 innocents were slaughtered.

    Albright was correct in her statement, there actually i a purpose for a given country’s military, Iraq was wrong, Bosnia was right.

    I fail to see an alignment for the pleading to stop the slaughter of innocents and the ongoing destruction of the Constitution via privatization of civil liberty & basic Constitutional freedoms.

  14. MikeW says:

    Yes, FM, the analogy I was making there was not strictly accurate. Madge was simply asserting that the use of our military should not be forbidden. She was not asserting that it should be mandatory in the way that the 90% rule mentioned above makes filling a prison mandatory.

    Still, I think my broader point, that having a large and powerful military-industrial complex can lead to a pressure to use it for war in the same manner that having a large prison complex can lead to a pressure to fill it, has some merit.

    BTW, I am heartened to see how many people on this blog agree that ‘Iraq was a mistake’. I wish that was more generally acknowledged, Lord knows it seems obvious enough.

  15. sbcharo says:

    21% To 45% 0f Prisoners Have ADHD 15 Peer Reviewed Studies Show. Crime & Jail Are Costly, Treatment Is Cheap.

    Only 8% of children and 5% of adults have ADHD.

    There is a lot of very sound science in the last five years re: the brain, inflammation, and various disorders such as ADD, Autism,Tourettes, Epilepsy, and many more…the news is good but it’s recent…

    I made a simple dietary change for my ADD daughter (removed lactose and am now considering gluten as well) and the results were immediate and quite stunning. I immediately thought of the prison population. She went from complete defiance to compliance very quickly, to focused, from unfocused, etc…She was always bright but couldn’t stay on task. Her teacher, who was NOT informed of the diet change, sent unsolicited email exactly 7 school days after the diet change saying she was concentrating in class and finishing her work early! (she’d NEVER finished her work – ever). All this because of lactose???!! I’m still in shock.

    They should have the entire prison population on a lactose/gluten free diet. I kid you not…My child was out of control…and for those of you who don’t think ADHD/ADD is real, lucky for you…because you’d rather have a kid with autism or other obvious disorder so people don’t think you don’t know how to parent.

    The new science in the last five years regarding the relationship between the brain and diet is quite fascinating and so relevant. Many ADD kids (and adults), autistic kids, and so many more, have an immunological deficiency that makes lactose, and sometimes gluten, toxic for them. The lucky ones, like my daughter, have physical systems that send a red flag…For most, the last thing they think of when they see a child failing out of school or refusing to listen to his parent in a grocery store, is “take that kid off milk!”

  16. theexpertisin says:

    For the many victims of crime that never receive justice, the prisons have a 100% vacancy rate.

  17. bear_in_mind says:

    @Frilton: I suspect your assertion about Federalism may well be true, but probably 18 years in arrears. I think the Republican sweep of Congress in ’94 was when Big Money recaptured Washington D.C., and with it, began the process of inculcating privatization into every aspect of government. Eventually, the money-grubbers will will over-reach and the pendulum will begin to swing back to the center, but there’s liable to a great deal of damage wrought in the interim.

  18. Sechel says:

    This is no different than Verizon offering building a pricing package based on 60% penetration. I think the idea has merits, and the 90% threshold probably assumes CCA gets an extra payment to compensate for the lower volume(States could bring in a 2nd vendor or build a new prison which competes). The bigger issue for me is how private prisons affect inmate rights.

  19. mathman says:


  20. Raleighwood says:

    If one were of a conspiratorial mindset and suspected that TPTB knew the deliberate de-industrialization of America would result in high levels of unemployment, hitting the low skill jobs first, it might behoove them to put into place outrageously and immorally severe drug penalties – thereby locking up the most likely candidates for rioting in the streets.

    It also keeps the unemployment levels fictitiously low.

    It lulls the rest of America into a false sense of safety – after ratcheting up their fear of drugs / crack / crime . (Problem, reaction, solution)

    Enriches all your corporate friends by developing the Private Prison Industry System.

    And all this while cutting taxes to the bone!

  21. Raleighwood,

    @ your 06:22..

    that’s close, but, with..

    “…And all this while cutting taxes to the bone!…”

    many of these ‘Privatisation’-schemas are launched, not to ‘cut Taxes’, but, merely, to use the ‘Savings’ to continue other ‘State’ spending..

    also, all that, newly, ‘Warehoused’ Labor gets to be ‘employed’, in ‘the Market’, for other Ends..

    though, at the EOD, We know that this..

    con·spire (kn-spr)
    v. con·spired, con·spir·ing, con·spires
    1. To plan together secretly to commit an illegal or wrongful act or accomplish a legal purpose through illegal action.
    2. To join or act together; combine: “Semisweet chocolate, cocoa powder, espresso, Cognac, and vanilla all conspire to intensify [the cake's] flavor” (Sally Schneider).
    To plan or plot secretly.
    [Middle English conspiren, from Old French, from Latin cnsprre : com-, com- + sprre, to breathe.]

    never happens..

  22. Patrick Neid says:

    Legalize all drugs. Yes, even crack. I’ll let you decide what % of the population will choose to be strung out. Including pharmaceuticals, my back of the envelope has it probably at maybe 5%. With that, 2/3′s of prisons will stand empty. Turn them into rehab and housing units for people who choose to be strung out at some point in their life.

    With prisons no longer giving Ph.Ds in criminal behaviour/gangs and petty crime disappearing for the most part, we will be saving money/lives, not to mention having a better quality of life in our cities etc. But more important than that we will accept and care for that part of our humanity that chooses to not participate. Will this happen now, no. But at some point society will evolve and it will.

  23. 873450 says:


    Effective law enforcement protecting the public, preventing crime and preserving the peace may constitute a presumptive, automatic breach of government’s contractual obligation to maintain private prison populations at near-capacity levels.

    Government could potentially get stuck for decades paying private corporations for prisoners that don’t exist. Government could theoretically get stuck paying private corporations for managing prisons with no incarcerated prisoners.

  24. PrahaPartizan says:

    If the contract demands a 90% minimum occupancy at a set price, where’s the risk that private enterprise is supposed to be willing to entertain? No risk exists in this contract at all, just super profits. This is just a crony capitalism contract with a guaranteed profit for a well-connected criminal gang. No real conservative should touch this sort of deal since it violates everything they claim to stand for.

  25. machinehead says:

    Union Agitator is right: ‘full prisons are evidence of a massive societal failure’ — particularly when close to half the inmates in the vast American gulag are there for victimless crimes (no complainant but the state).

    Has science advanced so little that there’s no better way of incentivizing good behavior? A century hence, the waste of human potential in the gulag will be considered as barbaric as was our toleration of human slavery in the 19th century.

    As Union Agitator said, ‘A decent society would be trying like hell …’ But then, a decent society wouldn’t be casually discussing another pre-emptive war, after the gross failure of its previous one. American culture has curdled, as its secular decline deepens and festers.

  26. Robert M says:

    It is good to see that the authors of many of the posts here recognize that one it is first and foremost a failure of society and two it covers its failure in continued acts of institutional racism.
    This will change quickly if you start going to the meatpacking district nightclub scene and start throwing Jewish and Caucasian Americans in jail for marijuana charges. I don’t think it will change if you include all the meth heads in the rest of the country.

  27. Frilton Miedman says:

    machinehead Says:
    February 21st, 2012 at 9:49 am
    “… Has science advanced so little that there’s no better way of incentivizing good behavior?”

    Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia has proven that making higher education available to inmates, where inmates have a statistical 78% of all inmates are repeat violators, for the cost of one years incarceration a prisoner can attain a bachelors degree.

    The rate of repeat offense after receiving a degree is profoundly lower, saving tax payers years of incarceration costs, gaining a productive taxpayer.

    The problem, this is bad for repeat business for a privatized jails.

  28. Greg0658 says:

    wow – interesting fork in the road
    “Has science advanced so little that …”
    ‘Has FINANCIAL science advanced so little that …’

  29. AlexM says:

    Union Agitator is right. It is a huge societal failure when for profit prisons have been given profit driven contracts to FILL the prisons.

    They are not only ruined for life when they get out, they are virtually unemployable for the rest of their lives; recidivism rate is so high because no wants want to hire an ex-con for ANY job. Almost the only way to earn a living for these ex-cons is to go back to a life of crime.

    Billions and billions for the prison system, yet money to break the cycle of poverty is decried as wasteful spending.

    We will never eliminate crime in the world but you can reduce criminal behavior.

  30. Expat says:

    I am more than willing to sign a 100 year prison deal if I can run Manhattan like in Escape from New York. No need to evacuate the island or ship in murderous psychopaths; we’ll just keep all the Wall Street employees.

    I still am dreaming of an America where Lloyd Blankfein is someone’s bitch in prison and is traded around for smokes.

  31. ToNYC says:

    The contract is unenforceable:; but it is an American exercise in futility on the slow road to Hell, when in practice, Hell is optional.

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