The Private Prison Racket

Capitalism should not be injected into “utilities” like education, health and the justice system (prisons)

The Fifth Column

A detention center’s door is shown in Baltimore, Md. | AP Photo

Politico Magazine

Companies that manage prisons on our behalf have abysmal records. So why do we keep giving them business?

In October, when California Governor Jerry Brown signed a new contract with Corrections Corporation of America, a Nashville-based private prison behemoth, to open a prison in the desert 100 miles north of Los Angeles, onlookers might’ve wondered if he’d been following the news.

The same could be asked of Wall Street in general. Over the last five years, CCA’s stock price has increased by more than 200 percent and earlier this month Jim Cramer’s investment website The Street praised the company’s “strengths” on Wall Street, enthusiastically rating its stock a “buy.”

As inmate populations have soared over the last 30 years, private prisons have emerged as an appealing solution to cash-starved states. Privately run prisons…

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