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Tags department of justice , jail and prison issues , prison reform , private prisons

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Old 18th August 2016, 11:04 AM   #1
Donal
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Department of Justice to stop using private prisons

Due to years of documented negligence and violence, as well as countless safety and security incidents, the Department of Justice will start scaling back its use of private prisons. the goal is to compeltely end the federal government's use of private prisons.

The Feds won't pull out over night. Instead, when each prison contract comes up for renewal over the next 5 years, the DoJ will review them, with the goal of scaling back their use.

Personally, I think this a big step towards badly needed prison and justice reform. Maybe if recidivism stops being profitable, we'll see less of it.
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Old 18th August 2016, 11:07 AM   #2
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The federal government uses only a small number. Also,are the immigrant detention centers DOJ or ICE?
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Old 18th August 2016, 11:12 AM   #3
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Ya, the DoJ only uses 13 of the 81 private prison in the US. But, hey, gotta start somewhere. As for the immigrant detention centers, that is messy.

According to this, DHS runs 11% of the beds used for immigrant detention and directly contracts out 18%. 24% of them are left to the states and municipalities specifically used for immigration detention. The rest are in prisons that are under the control of other federal agencies or states (which are also possibly private).

Last edited by Donal; 18th August 2016 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 18th August 2016, 11:47 AM   #4
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I've always considered the use of for profit prison corporations as immoral and reprehensible. Not because they are businesses per se, but that as a business model, they have a vested interest in creating a demand for prisoners. This seems inhumane, unethical, and just plain wrong.
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Old 18th August 2016, 01:01 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by LarianLeQuella View Post
I've always considered the use of for profit prison corporations as immoral and reprehensible. Not because they are businesses per se, but that as a business model, they have a vested interest in creating a demand for prisoners. This seems inhumane, unethical, and just plain wrong.
I understand the argument, but it doesn't have much heft to me. Do funeral directors have a vested interest in promoting murder? There are other ways to expand your business. Doctors promoting disease never flew for me either.
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Old 18th August 2016, 01:05 PM   #6
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It's about time.

Now if somebody with some sense can come to the conclusion that rehabilitation for addicts/alcoholics is less expensive and more effective than incarceration and back off from the WOSD (war on some drugs) we might get somewhere
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Old 18th August 2016, 01:27 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
I understand the argument, but it doesn't have much heft to me. Do funeral directors have a vested interest in promoting murder? There are other ways to expand your business. Doctors promoting disease never flew for me either.

I can show you prisons promoting incarceration: http://www.justicepolicy.org/uploads...the_system.pdf

The incentives and economics are obviously different in your examples.
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Old 18th August 2016, 01:54 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by quixotecoyote View Post
I can show you prisons promoting incarceration: http://www.justicepolicy.org/uploads...the_system.pdf

The incentives and economics are obviously different in your examples.
Perhaps it's not the systems that are different but the ability to exploit the mechanism without getting charged with a crime. Because shaping the marketplace to benefit my business is always available to me, and further, I don't think this falls along government/private lines - isn't it accepted wisdom that bureaucracies will tend to expand their own "markets"?

If it is fundamental, for both government and private institutions, then we should guard against both. Because, so long as the efforts are allowed, that's the rules of the game.

As to my examples, I wouldn't be the least surprised to find a funeral directors organization behind laws mandating embalming, licensing of cemeteries and other targeted legislation. I wouldn't necessarily think it nefarious either. I would expect doctors to try and influence legislation mandating certain types of healthcare or arguing for limits on malpractice suits. Again, recognizing vested interests is not, necessarily, the same as an accusation of malfeasance.

Do private prisons push more "law and order" legislation than government-run law enforcement organizations do? Your link suggests this is the case. And yet, the reason private prisons became a target for entrepreneurship is because the money was already there - the market existed before the private prison industry came calling.

Last edited by marplots; 18th August 2016 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 19th August 2016, 09:43 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post

Do private prisons push more "law and order" legislation than government-run law enforcement organizations do? Your link suggests this is the case. And yet, the reason private prisons became a target for entrepreneurship is because the money was already there - the market existed before the private prison industry came calling.
But did they start off as running a prison and the expansion happened organically? Or did they start running the prisons with the intention of pushing the legislation? Besides, at this point: so what?

Our outlook of the prison system is changing and they were caught manipulating the system for their own personal benefit.
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Old 19th August 2016, 10:25 PM   #10
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Why were the government officials whose job was to care for prisoner welfare failed the prisoners in private facilities so badly?
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Old 20th August 2016, 08:05 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Why were the government officials whose job was to care for prisoner welfare failed the prisoners in private facilities so badly?
I guess they just decided to step aside and let the Invisible Hand of the Free Market handle things for a bit. How'd that work out for them?
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Old 20th August 2016, 08:08 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
I understand the argument, but it doesn't have much heft to me. Do funeral directors have a vested interest in promoting murder?
They don't have to. Everybody dies eventually. Not everyone will end up in prison.

Steve S
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Old 20th August 2016, 09:22 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by twinstead View Post
I guess they just decided to step aside and let the Invisible Hand of the Free Market handle things for a bit. How'd that work out for them?
Great actually. The DOJ did not say private prisons were in noncompliance. It seems the DOJ got what they signed up for.
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Old 20th August 2016, 08:27 PM   #14
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If you are going to jail people for moral reasons (ie recreational drug use) then you need to find a way to pay for it.

Given that the two options are to either bill taxpayers for it or let private firms make a profit out of prisoners, I suspect that private prisons will be around for the foreseeable future.
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Old 20th August 2016, 09:55 PM   #15
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The reason why privately run prisons were promoted was that they were supposed to be cheaper - but in fact they are much more expensive.
They also care less well for the safety and health of the inmates.
On every measures but corporate profit they are a failure.
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Old 21st August 2016, 03:16 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by steve s View Post
They don't have to. Everybody dies eventually. Not everyone will end up in prison.

Steve S
Good point, although cash flow matters. I suppose funeral directors would be anti-abortion then?
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Old 21st August 2016, 03:17 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
The reason why privately run prisons were promoted was that they were supposed to be cheaper - but in fact they are much more expensive.
They also care less well for the safety and health of the inmates.
On every measures but corporate profit they are a failure.
Is this something you found in that article or elsewhere?
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Old 21st August 2016, 07:15 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
The reason why privately run prisons were promoted was that they were supposed to be cheaper - but in fact they are much more expensive.
They also care less well for the safety and health of the inmates.
On every measures but corporate profit they are a failure.
Then why isn't the federal government suing for contract breach?
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Old 21st August 2016, 07:48 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by LarianLeQuella View Post
I've always considered the use of for profit prison corporations as immoral and reprehensible. Not because they are businesses per se, but that as a business model, they have a vested interest in creating a demand for prisoners. This seems inhumane, unethical, and just plain wrong.
All government is is a gigantic crime creation (and see? I caught them for you reelect me!) system from that point of view.

If you are truly concerned, look into efforts to roll back government proliferation of de facto highway robbery and debtor's prisons, as ticketing for minor crimes explodes to satisfy local government monetary needs. People who cannot pay the fines are imprisoned without trials.

I have a tough time seeing how prisons create crime, aside from doing a poor job at rehabilitation. Would like to see standard measures applied to both kinds of prisons.
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Old 21st August 2016, 09:21 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Then why isn't the federal government suing for contract breach?
Politicians have shares in these companies?
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Old 21st August 2016, 10:01 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Given that the two options are to either bill taxpayers for it or let private firms make a profit out of prisoners, I suspect that private prisons will be around for the foreseeable future.
Taxpayers are billed either way.
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Old 21st August 2016, 10:01 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by LarianLeQuella View Post
I've always considered the use of for profit prison corporations as immoral and reprehensible. Not because they are businesses per se, but that as a business model, they have a vested interest in creating a demand for prisoners. This seems inhumane, unethical, and just plain wrong.
This is not a new thing - it evolved from slavery in the south...

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Old 21st August 2016, 10:05 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
I understand the argument, but it doesn't have much heft to me. Do funeral directors have a vested interest in promoting murder? There are other ways to expand your business. Doctors promoting disease never flew for me either.
Funeral homes have a permanent inevitable demand. The way to increase their income is to actually increase the birth rate, not increase the death rate.

But for-profit prisons only make more money if there are more prisoners. The way to do this is to increase the crime rate, such as by increasing recidivism, or by making up new laws criminalizing common behavior.
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Old 21st August 2016, 11:42 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by ehcks View Post
Funeral homes have a permanent inevitable demand. The way to increase their income is to actually increase the birth rate, not increase the death rate.
Yup.
Quote:

But for-profit prisons only make more money if there are more prisoners. The way to do this is to increase the crime rate, such as by increasing recidivism, or by making up new laws criminalizing common behavior.
It really is a classic case of conflict of interest, and the longer it goes the less chance it will ever get better.
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Old 21st August 2016, 12:23 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Taxpayers are billed either way.
I should have realized that earlier.
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Old 21st August 2016, 12:29 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Then why isn't the federal government suing for contract breach?
Because it makes governors sound weak to admit mistakes. Also, prison companies love funding the campaigns of their supporters

Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Is this something you found in that article or elsewhere?

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_Pz3syET3DY
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Old 21st August 2016, 02:14 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
yt;dw
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Old 22nd August 2016, 04:59 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
I understand the argument, but it doesn't have much heft to me. Do funeral directors have a vested interest in promoting murder? There are other ways to expand your business. Doctors promoting disease never flew for me either.
How many cases have we seen of funeral directors paying to get people killed? We do have cases of private prisons bribing judges to make sure they get more of the juicy juicy juvenile offender market.

http://www.forbes.com/forbes/welcome...ww.google.com/

And how much does the funeral industry put into lobbying to make sure more people die? Or have contracts with the goverment to make sure they get enough corpses on a regular basis to maintain their occupancy?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...n_3953483.html
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Old 22nd August 2016, 05:04 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by steve s View Post
They don't have to. Everybody dies eventually. Not everyone will end up in prison.

Steve S
Well wait to see how effective their occupancy requirements in contracts become. That might change.
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Old 22nd August 2016, 05:06 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Because it makes governors sound weak to admit mistakes. Also, prison companies love funding the campaigns of their supporters
Also it is ideologically unacceptable for some american political parties to think that government can ever be more efficient than for profit companies.
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Old 22nd August 2016, 07:42 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
How many cases have we seen of funeral directors paying to get people killed?
Ferryman Funeral Homes might have gone that far...

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Old 25th August 2016, 09:21 AM   #32
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Let's cut out the middle man. One side enjoys bigger government, with its attendant union workers, who in turn vote for bigger government. The other side does not, so wants to privatize, i.e. get rid of the union hires.

As B.F. Skinner said, look at their actions, not their words. It's all memeplex domination.
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Old 25th August 2016, 12:03 PM   #33
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I don't think you know what a "middle man" is. In this instance, the private prison companies would be that and they are being removed. And what do unions have to do with this?
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Old 25th August 2016, 03:01 PM   #34
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We figured out it was a bad idea after 6 years....
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