Excessive sentences, aka “bonus justice” is the rich soil in which for-profit detention has taken root.
In hopes of extending this infographic’s reach (Huffington Post’s smart use of BJS data) I now present the biggest argument for the growing national dialogue on prison reform in America: Lock-up Quotas.
For years, Morgan Stanley, Ameriprize, Barclays, Invesco, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, among others, have invested heavily in for-profit detention. So, if you’re someone who still dismisses incarceration as being for “those people,” perhaps you should follow the money. You see, the same idiots who mistakenly foreclose on people’s homes, may wind up deciding just how long your brother, sister, son or daughter are detained for public drunkenness. Operating at such a competency level, and with occupancy the highest priority for private prisons, all bets will soon be off with regards to who fills those beds.
Sound crazy? Sure it does, but at the rate we’re going it’s not hard to imagine a day when banking institutions and financial investment companies open pop-up prisons like so many Wal-Marts.
On the eve of mandatory minimum sentence reform, the billion-dollar private prison industry is the last place America needs a collision between judicial proficiency and corporate shareholder satisfaction. Oh, sorry. Too late! Excessive sentences, aka “bonus justice” is the rich soil in which for-profit detention has taken root. Having served time behind bars, I tend to think the scary part for the public might be the assault rates in corporate prisons being three times higher on average than in state facilities, but those statistics have yet to receive a lot of attention.
Without a complicit criminal justice system, ever more influenced by these financial entities, today’s lock-up quotas wouldn’t be so easily and enthusiastically enforced across the country. Have a look:
This post originally appeared at Where Excuses Go To Die
Photo: AP File/Matt York