Wednesday, September 16, 2009

State Profiteering From Land Sale to For-Profit Prisons?

Provision may help Arizona developers

This article in the Yuma Sun is very interesting to me. Only days after signing away the entire state penal system to for-profit prisons, the Gov also allows a state agency to self-fund from the sale of state lands to private developers.

They are particularly interested in investors who will improve the surrounding infrastructure of roads and utilities of land in the middle of nowhere.

Let's see, we don't get lower taxes, some of the state's operating costs are transferred to a state agency's profit from land sales (rather than those profits being used for educating our children), and the state is up for sale to private developers. What sort of stew does that recipe brew on the heals of sending a historic invite for the for-profit prison industry to settle in Arizona?

I smell an opportunity for the for-profit prison industry to purchase federal lands granted to the state at a fire-sale price on the condition that they build roads and provide utilities for the new incarceration compounds they plan to build in Arizona in coming years. Compounds that will house prisoners from other states to be sent here by the truckload to "relieve" the burden on politicians in other states whose budget suffer from so many incarcerated citizens.

So, it isn't just private developers in the game for land profits. The state is looking to ante up to the table with property that has been entrusted to them as well.

Or, maybe I'm just being cynical. Time will tell.

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