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April 18, 2013

"Hustle and Flow: Prison Privatization Fueling the Prison Industrial Complex"

The title if this post is the title of this paper by Patrice Fulcher recently posted on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

The Prison Industrial Complex (“PIC”) is a profiteering system fueled by the economic interests of private corporations, federal and state correctional institutions, and politicians.  The PIC grew from ground fertilized by an increase in the U.S. prison population united with an economically depressed market, stretched budgets, and the ineffective allocation of government resources.  The role of the federal, state, and local governments in the PIC has been to allocate resources.  This is the first of a series of articles exploring issues surrounding the PIC, including (1) prison privatization, (2) outsourcing the labor of prisoners for profit, and (3) constitutional misinterpretations.

The U.S. prison population increased in the 1980s, in part, because of harsh drug and sentencing laws and the racial profiling of Blacks.  When faced with the problem of managing additional inmates, U.S. correctional institutions looked to the promise of private prison companies to house and control inmates at reduced costs.  The result was the privatization of prisons, private companies handling the management of federal and state inmates.

This Article addresses how the privatization of prisons helped to grow the PIC and the two ways in which governments’ expenditure of funds to private prison companies amount to an inefficient allocation of resources: (1) it creates an incentive to increase the prison population, which led to a monopoly and manipulation of the market by Correction Corporation of America (“CCA”) and The GEO Group, Inc. (“GEO”), the top two private prison companies, and (2) it supports the use of Blacks as property, which in turn prevents Blacks from participating in future economic activities because they are labeled as felons.

This Article first discusses how the increased prison population led to the allocation of government resources to prison privatization. Second, it establishes how funding private prison companies helped to develop the PIC into an economic, for-profit “hustle” for the involved partners and stakeholders, herein after referred to as players.  Third, it makes it easy to see the “flow” of inequities stemming from the “hustle” and how they are the result of inefficient allocation of government resources.  Finally, in order to stop the “hustle” and change the “flow” of inequities, this Article calls for a moratorium on the privatization of U.S. prisons, the end of private prison companies, and a change in drug sentencing laws in order to reduce the prison population.

Some related posts about private prisons: 

April 18, 2013 at 11:08 AM | Permalink


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I know nothing about Prof. Fulcher except what I see, but you don't have to read beyond five sentences to understand that the vocabulary here is Marxist. Her background has to have been part of the ideological defense bar.

I wonder when we're going to see an article about the Academic Slanted-Study Complex, "ASSC".

Posted by: Bill Otis | Apr 18, 2013 11:37:56 AM

If it's Marxist to find it repulsive to treat human suffering as a growth commodity, our schools need to spend more time on the Communist Manifesto.

Posted by: Jay Hurst | Apr 18, 2013 7:45:34 PM

Privatization of prisons is a troubling trend in America. I understand the need to save money, but I think having prisons run by private corporations is inherently wrong and could lead to very bad treatment and neglect. People are in prison to pay their debt to society, not to pay their debt to a private corporation.

Posted by: Steve.Tate | Apr 19, 2013 2:41:12 PM

Jay Hurst --

"If it's Marxist to find it repulsive to treat human suffering as a growth commodity, our schools need to spend more time on the Communist Manifesto."

What she, and you, find "repulsive" is that strongarms might actually be held accountable.

Too bad. Go find it repulsive. It wouldn't make a particle of difference to you if the prisons were public or private; your point is to make them disappear, period, so that their current residents can take up where they left off.

Been there, done that. See, e.g., '60's and '70's. No thanks.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Apr 20, 2013 1:56:34 AM

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