Since the advent of privatized prisons in 1984, America has witnessed the passage of laws that require zero tolerance and mandatory sentencing, without regard for any extenuating circumstances. These two factors walk hand in hand as the increasingly privatized American justice system is designed to produce as many prisoners as possible. Our prison system is experiencing a much larger percentage of work by prisoners, thus creating profits for Wall Street which in turn motivate the incarceration of more people for longer periods of time. Privatized prison corporate investors make happy campaign contributors. Therefore, you can bet that the proverbial poop rolls down hill to the cops and the push is on to incarcerate more and more. Some argue that is fine and we should lock all the bad guys up. However, when one of the fastest growing segments of our prison population are children, we all need to sit up take notice and take action, especially when the President of the United States is profiting from the corruption.
My State Is Your State
What is going on in my state, Arizona, is going on in your state. There is a gigantic push to pass zero tolerance laws and mandatory sentencing, across a number of fronts so as to greatly increase the number of inmates behind bars as well as increasing their length of stay. State legislatures, in states like Arizona and in your state are not incarcerating an ever-increasing number of inmates to keep the public safe, they are doing so to increase the bottom of line globalist corporations who own the privatized prison system. The tactic to increase funding is always the same, target an up and coming politician, throw some money at him/her and let nature take its course.
In Arizona, the targeted politician is none other than House Appropriations Chairman John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills. Kavanagh publicly stated that his eleventh-hour funding sleight of hand move was placed into the budget when GEO Group Inc. lobbyists informed him the company wasn’t making enough money from the emergency beds it provides Arizona at prisons in Phoenix and Florence. Lobbyists for the GEO Group (Pivotal Policy Consulting), the GEO Group and Kavanagh did not return phone calls from The Common Sense Show. The GEO group is now guaranteed 100% occupancy of all prison beds, and is projected to receive $45 million this fiscal year from Arizona taxpayers. In fact, at the time of this printing, the GEO GROUP has more prisoners under their control than there are beds.
Caroline Isaacs, the director for the American Friends Service Committee, a watchdog group focused on prison spending called the additional funding “outrageous.” “Why this corporation feels it’s entitled to bypass the contract process with a state agency it is serving and go directly to the money man (Kavanagh) is incredible. This indicates a level of coziness that should make taxpayers nervous.” Isaacs laments the fact that this money could be going to pay for children’s education instead of enriching the coffers of the GEO Group. I agree and people, like Kavanagh need to be impeached for violating their fiduciary duty to their constituents.
There are solutions to prison overcrowding that are being purposely ignored in order to enrich the gracious campaign contributors from the GEO Group. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and five other sheriff’s offices in Cochise, Pinal, Apache, Navajo and Santa Cruz counties have said they would be willing to house Department of Corrections inmates in order to assist in the easing of the state’s overcrowding prison population. Kavanagh and his GEO Group beholding legislators have refused the help.
Kavanagh is a political whore, but he is not alone in Arizona as the only political whore to the GEO Group. Senate Appropriations Chairman Don Shooter, R-Yuma, when interviewed by the Arizona Republic would not even comment as he stated that “We can’t talk anything about the budget process,” it would be bad form.”
Your state is my state and has political whores, beholding to privatized prison Globalist corporations, and it is time that the facts behind the privatization of prisons be told. And this conspiracy reaches right into the White House.
We’re Number One
There are over two million inmates in American prisons, or one in 743 people. Communist China, which has five times the population of the United States, has 500,000 less inmates. The United States has only 5% of the world’s population, but has 25% of the world’s prison population.
In 1972, the U.S. had less than 300,000 inmates. By 1990, the incarceration rate had skyrocketed to one million and by today, the rate has more than doubled again. Again, I ask why? Because there are very big monied interests behind the growth industry of privatized prisons and they are encouraging mandatory sentencing and zero tolerance sentencing regulations.
According to Charles Campbell, author of The Intolerable Hulks (2001), the privatization of the prisons movement has its origins in the Revolutionary War period. England began to put undesirables and prisoners in prison ships. The U.S. fully embraced the use of private prisons during the Reconstruction Period (1865-1876) in the south, following the Civil War. Plantation owners and business owners needed “free” replacements to compensate for the loss of their previous slave laborers. In 1868, convict leases were awarded to private business interests in order to bolster their labor workforce and the practice continued until the early 20th century.
Today, this practice has been taken over by private corporate interests who are increasingly taking over our prison system and this unholy practice is no less exploitative than the slave labor abuses of the past and as in all forms of slavery, it is being fueled by profit. Mark my words, FEMA camps will be privatized as well.
Prison for Profit
The GEO Group is not the only profitable privatized prison group. The Corrections Corporation of America is the largest private prison operator in the United States. The CCA procured its first private prison in, ironically, 1984.
Did you know that in many states, privatized prisons are guaranteed 90%to 100% occupancy rates by the government?
According to the California Prison Focus “The private contracting of prisoners for work fosters incentives to lock people up. Prisons depend on this income. Corporate stockholders who make money off prisoners’ work lobby for longer sentences, in order to expand their workforce. The system feeds itself,” says a study by the Progressive Labor Party, which accuses the prison industry of being “an imitation of Nazi Germany with respect to forced slave labor and concentration camps.”
A Globalist Endeavor to Incarcerate As Many People As Possible
Privatized prisons are big business, very big business. The GEO Group, headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla., claimed $115 million in profits on $1.52 billion in revenue in 2013. The GEO Group is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, is worth $2.3 billion, and it paid Chairman and Chief Executive George Zoley $4.62 million in total compensation in 2013.
According to public analysis from the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), the largest holder in Corrections Corporation of America is Vanguard Group Incorporated. Vanguard is a major player in controlling several media giants. Vanguard is the third largest holder in Viacom and AOL Time Warner. Vanguard is also the third largest holder in the GEO Group. The GEO group, second only in size to the CCA with regard to privatized prisons as it controls over 100 correctional facilities in the US, UK, Australia and South Africa. In addition to CCA’s unwarranted control over the media, the number-one holder of both Viacom and Time Warner is a company called Blackrock. Blackrock is the second largest holder in CCA, and the sixth largest holder in the GEO Group in this never-ending incestuous relationship. This is why you are not hearing about these abuses in the media
Obama Is a Co-Conspirator
Vanguard Windsor II Investment Fund owns CCA. However, CCA is a minute part of the Vanguard Windsor II Funds. Vanguard Windsor is also invested in corporate giants like JP Morgan, IBM, Pfizer and Conoco. This accounts for the Wall Street backing of privatized prisons and the subsequent lobbying for longer and stricter prison sentences which fuels this growth industry.
This is the same Vanguard that moved money prior to the Gulf Oil Explosion in a manner which made massive sums of money for key investors in the same manner as did Transocean, Goldman Sachs and Halliburton. And one of those insiders that benefitted from the Gulf Oil Explosion was President Obama as he was vested in Vanguard I and Vanguard II. The late Bob Chapman reported on this Obama conflict of interest as did I in an earlier article. Obama’s corruption is not limited to his investors having and acting on foreknowledge of the Gulf Oil Explosion, he is an active investor in the slave labor motivated Prison Industrial Complex.
This makes the privatized prison industry a Wall Street backed growth opportunity backed by the office of the President.
America has found an antidote to the loss of manufacturing through the various free trade agreements (i.e. NAFTA, CAFTA). Unfortunately, prison slave labor is the solution. The Left Business Observer identifies private corporate interests benefiting from prison slave labor which includes the manufacturing of “93% of all paints and paintbrushes; 92% of stove assembly; 46% of body armor; 36% of home appliances; 30% of headphones/microphones/speakers; and 21% of office furniture.” This is slave labor for private profit.
The present privatized prison system operates on the principle of repeat customers. The average person is sentenced from 5-7 years in prison. There is no rehabilitation, only the prison life which produces a more hardened criminal. When the convict is released, they find it virtually impossible to get a job because of their ex-con label. Within three years of release from prison, 70% of all prisoners return. Can you imagine if every restaurant had a 70% return rate from its customers?
According to the Pew Center in their study The Long Reach of American Corrections (March 2009), it costs nearly $79 per day to house an inmate which is 20 times the cost of putting someone on probation. Would it not make sense to sentence nonviolent offenders to probation and save the taxpayers’ money? Of course it would, unless you are Vanguard Investments, the largest owner of privatized citizens in the form of the Correctional Corporation of America (CCA), GEO (2nd largest private prison company), Wackenhut, Viacom, AOL Time Warner and they are all controlled by the Vanguard family of funds. This is where we come back to Vanguard as the President made $85 million dollars on the Gulf Oil Spill because of Vanguard’s actions.
America has found an antidote to the loss of manufacturing through the various free trade agreements (i.e. NAFTA, CAFTA). Unfortunately, prison slave labor is the solution!
Go to School and End Up In Prison
There are almost 75,000 juveniles in prison and the rates are skyrocketing because of a phenomenon that is now being referred to as the school to prison pipeline in which schools are increasingly refusing to deal with even minor discipline issues and are placing juveniles in police custody.
In 2010, there were 5,574 school-based arrests of juveniles in the Chicago Public School System. The juvenile arrests accounted for about one of every five juvenile arrests in the entire city of Chicago for all of 2010. The incarceration rates for Chicago’s juveniles are in line with most other metropolitan areas in the country. There is also a general trend of disproportionate rates of minority contact within the juvenile justice system, Black youth accounted for 74% of school-based arrests, and 22.5% of youth arrested were Latino. The enrollment of Chicago schools in was 45% Black and 41% Latino. These high arrest rates for so many of our minority youth, create potential slave laborers for the Prison Industrial Complex. Once a child is adjudicated in the justice system, society usually witnesses a straight line right to prison. These precious children are having their futures robbed from them before they can even get started. What are they being arrested for? The number one reason is fighting on school grounds.
As a child, I had fights on school grounds, but nobody tried to send me to prison, but only because criminal globalist corporations had not yet figured out how to make money on it. The number two reason why children end up in the justice system is for possessing small amounts of marijuana.
Our country needs to collectively answer the question about how much of this are we willing to take? At the rate incarcerations are increasing, American parents will see one in five children going to prison.
Dave Hodges is the Editor and Host of The Common Sense Show.