Prison Profiteers: Who Makes Money from Mass Incarceration
Tara Herival, Paul Wright
Synopsis: The astonishing range of industries, corporations, and individuals profiting from the imprisonment of over 2.3 million Americans. "Positive: With the baby boomlet demographics, we foresee increasing demand for juvenile [incarceration] services. Negative:...it is often difficult to maintain the occupancy rates required for profitability."-from a report produced for the private prison industry by investment analysts First Analysis Securities Corporation. Locking up 2.3 million people isn't cheap. Each year federal, state, and local governments spend over $185 billion annually in tax dollars to ensure that one out of every 137 Americans is imprisoned. Prison Profiteers looks at the private prison companies, investment banks, churches, guard unions, medical corporations, and other industries and individuals that benefit from this country's experiment with mass imprisonment. It lets us follow the money from public to private hands and exposes how monies formerly designated for the public good are diverted to prisons and their maintenance. Find out where your tax dollars are going as you help to bankroll the biggest prison machine the world has ever seen. Contributors include: Judy Greene on private prison giants Geo (formerly Wackenhut) and CCA; Anne-Marie Cusac on who sells electronic weapons to prison guards; David Lapido on how private corporations profit from prison labor; Wil S. Hylton on the largest prison health care provider; Ian Urbina on how prison labor supports the military; Kirsten Levingston on the privatization of public defense; Jennifer Gonnerman on the costs to neighborhoods from which prisoners are removed; Kevin Pranis on the banks and brokerage houses that finance prison building; and Silja Talvi on the American Correctional Association as a tax-funded lobbyist for professional prison bureaucracies.