Prison, Profit, and Politics
There’s a strange intermingling of politics and prison profit bubbling to the surface:
In the United States — with almost 400,000 annual detentions in 2010, up from 280,000 in 2005 — private companies now control nearly half of all detention beds, compared with only 8 percent in state and federal prisons, according to government figures. …
But lost detention contracts are rare and easily replaced in this fast-growing business. Serco’s $10 billion portfolio includes many other businesses, from air traffic control and visa processing in the United States, to nuclear weapons maintenance, video surveillance and welfare-to-work programs in Britain, where it also operates several prisons and two “immigration removal centers.” Companies Use Immigration Crackdown to Turn a Profit (Nina Bernstein, The New York Times, 9/28/11)
Is SERCO a member of ALEC? They aren’t listed on ALEC’s website, but that means little when so many companies and legislators are trying to hide their connection to the group.