Wednesday, June 24, 2009

America's First Prison State

Senate Bill SB 1028 officially makes Arizona the first prison state in the United States. The bill sells 100% of the state's assets to the For-Profit prison industry for $495,000,000. Not since the Civil War has a state sanctioned profiteering in human flesh.

The For-Profit prison industry was launched in 1984 in response to the birth of Mandatory Minimum Sentencing's huge flood of new prisoners into America's prison system. Some of these companies are traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Their history is rightfully filled with controversy.

Having a government heavily controlled by special interest dollars make laws defining crimes and sentences in the same world as an industry that profits from these laws is beyond the pale. Until now, states have resisted the rise of these concrete and steel operations that profit from misery, but no longer. After Arizona who will fall next? Other states where the for-profit industry has had success are Alaska, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, and California.

Make no mistake about it. Any industry that is profit driven to incarcerate--and keep incarcerated--human beings to make a profit will do so with the zeal of any other for-profit enterprise facing an impatient group of shareholders.

No comments:

Post a Comment