ON THE TAKE: PRIVATE PRISON FIRMS ARE BUYING ACCESS TO PUBLIC OFFICIALS AT LAVISH CONFERENCES | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

ON THE TAKE: PRIVATE PRISON FIRMS ARE BUYING ACCESS TO PUBLIC OFFICIALS AT LAVISH CONFERENCES

The prison industry in the United States has grown so large that there are no less than seven professional associations for people who work at prisons and jails. The industry conferences held by these associations provide a perfect venue for private corrections companies to influence government officials with little public oversight, according to a recent report by the watchdog group In The Public Interest(ITPI).

The biggest names in the prison business spend millions of dollars sponsoring these conferences and wooing prison officials with free massages, awards ceremonies, luxury dinner cruises and plenty of corporate schwag. Over the past week, one of the most prominent associations, the American Correctional Association (ACA), held its summer conference in Indianapolis, where major sponsors included private prison companies Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), GEO Group and food services giant Aramark.

The ACA boasts that its "Congress of Corrections" offers "multiple ways to network with industry professionals, find a mentor, get a sneak peek at emerging technology, and hone your leadership skills." At last summer's ACA conference, CCA sent nearly 70 of its own employees, according to ITPI.

Private prison firms and the private companies that provide services such as commissary and health care in prisons are notorious for cutting corners to maximize profits at the expense of health and safety. Aramark was recently cited for causing food shortages and serving food contaminated with maggots to prisoners in Michigan. CCA and GEO Group have been plagued by scandals at their privately run facilities across the United States, and both companies advocate for policies and contract provisions such as "bed quotas" or "lockup quotas" that increase profits but undermine efforts to reduce the nation's exploding prison population and improve conditions.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These private prisons are gulags of the worst order, and by the time an inmate has served his time (if he hasn't died of complications of untreated medical issues), chances are that he emerges from these prisons far worse off than he was when he came in, and will re-offend shortly, which is music to the ears of private prison owners.

Oh, and by the way; any attempts at rehabilitation are few and far between.

Sweden is closing many of its prisons, because they don't have enough prisoners to fill them.

And why?!?

Because the full focus of prison in Sweden is rehabilitation, to the point where those serving their time become fully integrated into society once they have served their time.

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