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However, despite the Department of Defense not being required to purchase its products, many defense contractors take advantage of the cheap labor offered by prisons. For example, inmates make as little as 23 cents an hour manufacturing components used in Patriot missiles, which then sell for .9 million apiece.
However, according to the Department of Justice’s “Emerging Issues on Privatized Prisons” report, private prisons offer at best a 1% cost savings over their government operated counterparts, while at the same time having 49% more assaults on staff and 65% more assaults on other inmates. Corporations owning correctional facilities is not the only way that prisons and the War on Drugs have been used as a source of income.
For instance, even in government-ran facilities, inmates and their families are regularly subject to price gouging by phone carriers. While the average cost of a phone call in the United States is 3 cents per minute, inmates and their families end up paying between 16 cents and $5.00 per minute. The profits are then split between the carrier and the government body who awarded the contract.
While the War on Drugs initially had a small impact on incarceration, it was President Reagan’s Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 that kickstarted the prison boom. From 1970 to 2005, the prison population rose 700 percent, while violent crime remained steady or declined. Between 19, the populations of private prisons shot up 1,600 percent. Today, the US has the highest incarceration rate in the world – 754 inmates per 100k residents as of 2008. This is roughly 600% that of the rest of the civilized world, with England and Wales having 148, and Australia 126 inmates per 100k residents. As of 2010, private corporations house over 99,000 inmates in 260 facilities nationwide. Corrections Corp.
of America and other private contractors became members of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a non-profit 501(c)(3) association that advocates “tough on crime” legislation. In their 2010 report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Corrections Corp.
In 2009, The Department of Homeland Security sent a confidential memo to law enforcement in Missouri that listed supporters of several political candidates and third parties as potential terrorists. Americans opposed to the bailout and the income tax were also listed in the same group as Neo-nazi’s and bombers of abortion clinics.
After appearing on the Wikileaks website, letters of apologies were sent to Representive Ron Paul, Former Congressman Bob Barr, and Presidental Candidate Chuck Baldwin – all of whom were listed by name in the document. In the same year, the ACLU discovered materials used to train Department of Defense personnel that listed protesting as a form of terrorism. In a multiple choice test for the annual Level 1 Anti-terrorism Awareness course, participants were asked, “Which of the following is an example of low-level terrorist activity?Signed into law by President Obama, the 2012 NDAA is heavily criticized for declaring that American citizens can be held without trial indefinitely on the mere suspicion of supporting terrorism. It also contains provisions that allows citizens to be transferred to the custody of foreign nations for interrogation, trial, and/or imprisonment – an act known as “rendition.” While suspected enemy combatants found on the battlefield were already subject to these conditions since the Bush administration, this is the first time that these powers will apply American citizens on American soil.Following the defeat of the Third Reich in 1945, the predecessor to the CIA, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), sought to recruit Nazi scientists for employment by the United States.of America spent 0,000 and GEO Group spent 0,000 lobbying Congress in 2010 alone. of America’s Feb 2011 press release, CEO Damon Hininger stated, “..are pleased our populations have remained strong, in excess of the 80,000 inmate milestone we surpassed late in 2010.” With the 3.2% increase in inmate population over the previous year, Corrections Corp.of America was able to make 1.26M profit, earning their CEO over ,000,000 in compensation. Private prison proponents claim that private corporations are able to provide the same service more efficiently than the government.In fact, it is not uncommon for the government body to receive a signing bonus from the carrier, like M in the case of Los Angeles County. Unlike the public, the Federal Communications Commission has no safeguards against price gouging when it applies to those behind bars.