This one may not be of interest to many people, but to me it is, as I once knew someone incarcerated in one of these monstrous private prisons, who required life-sustaining medicines, which, of course, the private prison sometimes provided, and sometimes did not. The whole experience convinced me that like many other massive moral faults and corrupt institutions foisted on the public by out of control government-corporate relationships that can only be qualified as fascist, this is another massive problem.
In short, such prisons gain their profits from government subsidies granted on a per-incarceration basis. The more people incarcerated, the more the subsidy. The opportunities for corruption also grow when one factors in the fact that in many of these private prisons, inmates are used for cheap labor to manufacture items at wages well below that in the public market place. So one may also view them as labor camps. And again, the opportunities for corruption grows in such a system. Indeed, it becomes inconceivable that government officials will not be tempted to receive kickbacks for providing a steady flow of inmates, and therefore money, to the system.
When I first broached these dangers to some friends back in the 1980s, I was laughed at. Private prisons were, after all, a "good idea" because they were "market based" and "conservative", i.e., being promoted by the conservative wags and ideologues in both political parties.
Now, the chickens have come home to roost, and I thank Mr. V.T. for sharing this article with me:
Ciavarella is not the only example folks. He's the tip of a very large iceberg. In my incarcerated friend's case, money was "saved" by placing medicine orders perpetually late, and thus, over time, paying for about half of the medicines that would normally have been paid for. Multiply this by every inmate needing medicines in private prisons, and you get the idea. The system is inhuman, and being run by - I'll dare say it - monsters.
It's a mirror of what is wrong with America, the idolization of "markets", of money, or power, or the material, as the bottom line, for you'll note, the sad fact is, the article does not say that Pennsylvania abolished the private prison, it merely caught a corrupt judge.
But there's another thing here that should profoundly disturb, and that is that this is connected to children. At a very much deeper level I suspect that we'll eventually hear things that will allow dots to be connected to private prisons, child abductions, the imprisonment of the homeless simply for being "homeless" on some silly trumped up charge or ridiculous "ordnances" or "laws" as a source of "cheap labor"... and a whole host of other scandals.
See you on the flip side.