Is CCA Trying to Take Over the World?

"Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?"

"The same thing we do every night, Pinky — try to take over the world!"

Recently we learned that the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the largest private prison company in the country, sent a letter to 48 state governors offering to buy up their state-owned and operated prisons and put them under CCA control. If offering cash-strapped states a quick infusion of money by taking control of prisons off their hands sounds too good to be true, that’s because it probably is.

See, to take CCA up on its offer to buy a prison, a state would have to sign a 20-year contract and promise a 90 percent occupancy rate over that period. In other words, CCA is asking states to commit to maintaining prisons filled to capacity. This makes sense, since CCA is a for-profit business whose success depends on keeping prisons full, something CCA freely admits. In fact, in a 2010 Annual Report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, CCA stated: “The demand for our facilities and services could be adversely affected by...leniency in conviction or parole standards and sentencing practices.” In other words, CCA has much to gain from policies that lock up more people for more time.

Historically, CCA and other private prisons companies have built their own prisons and charged states fees to house their prisoners. This practice in itself is deeply worrying — For-profit facilities have incentives to cut corners. For example, private prisons generally pay officers less, leading to higher rates of turnover and less experienced staff.

Last year, Ohio became the first state to sell a prison that it built, owned and operated to CCA. This idea was proposed to state legislators as a way to get a quick influx of money in a cash-strapped economy. Unfortunately, evidence that private prisons save money is mixed at best; numerous studies have repeatedly shown that private prisons do not offer the savings they claim that they do or may even increase the cost to states. For example, a recent study by Arizona's Department of Corrections showed that it may be more expensive to incarcerate inmates in private prisons than in state-run facilities.

Private prisons are bad news for many reasons — they rely on the mass incarceration of Americans, have incentives to cut corners at the expense of public safety and the well-being of prisoners and have not convincingly been shown to save states money. For all those reasons and more, states should be wary of this new offer from CCA.

Nineties cartoon aficionados know that Brain’s daily plans for world domination were regularly foiled by Pinky’s antics. We can only hope CCA’s quest to create its very own for-profit prison empire by buying up prisons all over America will meet the same fate.

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Note: This post has been edited to clarify the content of CCA's letter.

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Anonymous

Guess the slogan "Land of the free" gotta be changed then.
Sick.

Anonymous

Or we should just move to a capital punishment state. I kinda like the "eye for an eye", sure would cut down on repeat offenders....they only got two eyes, two hands, two balls...

Anonymous

if you want to change you have to make sacrifice's
you want change then change the laws the jail and prisons system and the judicial system if a person dose his or her debt to society give them there freedom back as well don't make slaves of them !don't take away all there rights !! a person thinks of what the hell if your going to take my rights away why not be a criminal full time and die being one !! there going to put me in a prison anyway and take all my rights like the right to bare arms for hunting or fishing or defending my home and family from invaders ! if you haven't done a violent crime give them back all there rights and give them back the right to vote . you want reform ? reform that!! but if you have done a hard crime a violent crime then the prison or death row !! repeat offenders have to be taught that it don't pay to do crap over and over again.. the criminal now days thinks he or she have nothing to lose and go's out and dose it as a career !! death only awaits them anyway .. no one will hire them and there's really no place to live with a background record!! they are shunt by society they are looked down by fellow workers and friends they can't fit back in life or live it down and go on with life !! so they go out and do it again!! change that!!! you want to change something change that!!

Anonymous

Snowden uncovered the huge corruption thats been going on for years, these electronics companies have been marketing an inferiour product and lying about there depth of involvement with the Government.

It's no small surprise that in the wake of Mr Snowden's revelations the British Government announced that Ubuntu LTS was one of the most secure operating system's available only to then have the NSA sitting there telling the european advisory panel that was a Lie and Windows 7 or 8 was far superiour.

A blatant lie designed to force users to continue to use a product that is easy to attack from a hackers perspective. Microsoft Windows has increadibly poor security. Always has an always will.

These companies weaken the standards of there own products they claim gives the end user security.

Bitlocker - Encrypted Storage.

It's designed to have a weak key that is stored locally in the Windows Registry so later on they can just pass it to a Forensics expert using something like DEFT Linux to then recover the drive.

The issue here has always been about privacy and the NSA has a long record for being able to abuse that!

Anonymous

I like corn dogs :p

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