One more reason to ban privatized prisons


Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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17 Responses

  1. Avatar RTod says:

    Holy crap. I think of myself as being pretty damn cynical, and this is jarring even to me. File this under the “God, I Really Hope This Isn’t Actually True” category.Report

  2. Avatar North says:

    My hair is standing on end. Happy Halloween indeed.Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Remember back in 2002 the horror stories told by war supporters about Saddam’s prisons for children?Report

    • @Jaybird, Well, duh – everyone knows that the problem with those prisons for children was that they were run by Saddam. Prisons for children and women run by private corporations coordinating with Sheriff Joe (who has never, ever, ordered a pregnant mother to be handcuffed and abused while giving birth), though, are virtual Disneylands; in fact, most kids would be lucky to live in such an environment.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        @Mark Thompson, it’s probably why they’d be willing to cross a desert in the first place.

        Three hots and a cot, education, and health care!

        My god! This is obviously a leftist plot to provide free cradle-to-grave welfare for illegal immigrants!!!Report

        • @Jaybird, Not only that, but it seems that these liberals are actually creating an entire network of resorts in vacation hotspots for illegals, terrorists and other ne’er-do-wells – first a pristine Caribbean islands, now the vicinity of the Grand Canyon, Sedona, and fantastic golf….what’s next? The Aspen Prison for Drug Smugglers?Report

  4. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    One of Richard Condon’s lesser-known novels is Mile High, in which Prohibition is revealed to be a business plan created by the Mafia.Report

  5. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    I once went to dinner with some friends and Jello Biafra (long story), and at one point Jello claimed that the prison industrial complex was who pushed for the three strikes laws to be passed in California, mostly by ad campaigns urging people to vote for the measure to save the children, and although maybe also in terms of drafting the bill. I pretty much shrugged it off because he’s a tad more paranoid than the rest of us… but okay, maybe he had a point. Has anyone heard that theory about the three strikes laws before?Report

  6. Avatar dexter45 says:

    The corps not only make money by housing prisoners, they also make money off the slave labor. American prisons make a lot of things. Do a little research and one will be even more amazed at the corruption in America. There are about 37,000 people in prison for marajuana in America that cost about 40,000 per year per prisoner. The whole thing is not bad, it is evil.Report

  7. Avatar Scott says:

    Once again the illegal immigrant avenger as uncovered another plot to sully the good name of illegals everywhere. I wonder if E.D. is getting paid by La Raza or MALDEF or some other pro-illegal group to write this drivel?Report

  8. Avatar lukas says:

    This is bad, of course, but the same can happen with public prisons. California’s prison guard union has pushed through legislation that is just as evil. Remember how Prop. 66 got defeated in 2004?Report

  9. Avatar Michael says:

    It isn’t as if the publicly run prisons didn’t serve anyone’s economic agenda. The prison guards in California have one of the most powerful unions in the state, with a tremendous influence on elections and legislation. Government bureaucracies are organized economic interest groups just as much as private corporations are.

    It’s not clear to me that subcontracting to private business is either better or worse than relying on government bureaucracy in performing the functions that I think government really does have to perform. Either way, you have to deal with most of the same problems: the tragedy of the commons and the resulting rational ignorance of voters, principal/agent issues, the logic of collective action (as discussed, for example, by Mancur Olson), and rent-seeking, among others. I think it’s safe to say that we don’t really have a fully effective solution to those in political theory or the art of government.Report

  10. Avatar pnoque says:

    This isn’t an argument to ban privatized prisons, it’s an argument for abolishing the state. Private firms become corrupt with aid from the state, and in this case it is the state that has created unjust immigration laws that even necessitate the prisons. Ban the state, privatize everything. No more state-sponsored corruption or limited liability.Report