What is your take in private prisons?

alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior MemberPosts: 8,775 Senior Member
"Government spending on corrections has soared since 1997 by 72 percent, up to $74 billion in 2007. And the private prison industry has raked in tremendous profits. Last year the two largest private prison companies — Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and GEO Group — made over $2.9 billion in revenue.
The three main companies have contributed $835,514 to federal candidates and over $6 million to state politicians. They have also spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on direct lobbying efforts. CCA has spent over $900,000 on federal lobbying and GEO spent anywhere from $120,000 to $199,992 in Florida alone during a short three-month span this year.

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2011/06/23/251363/cca-geogroup-prison-industry/
From an economic point of view, we should expect firms that compete for and rely on government contracts, such as weapons manufacturers and prison operators, to maximise the spread between the amount billed and the actual cost of delivering the service. If contractors can get away with providing less value for money than would the government-run alternative, they will. Moreover, contractors have every incentive to make themselves seem necessary. It is well-known that public prison employee unions constitute a powerful constituency for tough sentencing policies that lead to larger prison populations requiring additional prisons and personnel. The great hazard of contracting out incarceration "services" is that private firms may well turn out to be even more efficient and effective than unions in lobbying for policies that would increase prison populations.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2010/08/private_prisons

To me privatization of government services CAN make sense in some instances when the incentives line up correctly. While private prisons have an incentive to reduce per prisoner costs as low as possible, that is only part of the overall economic picture. From society's perspective there is also a benefit to reduce the total number of incarcerated people and to do whatever possible to rehabilitate inmates to minimize recidivism. Private prison corporations have the OPPOSITE incentive in this case. They want to do everything possible to trip up inmates to find ways to extend their sentences, to make sure that they commit crimes when they leave and to lobby governments for harsher punishments. On net I find it nearly impossible for a system with this incentive structure NOT to fail!

What do you guys think?
"Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
-DoctorWho
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Replies

  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,429 Senior Member
    Typical liberal claptrap. Prisons were privatized precisely because the government-run penal institutions were horribly inefficient and corrupt. Do a little research into the history of state-run prisons before you slurp down the liberal Kool-Aid served up by the public-service unions who would benefit by the elimination of privately-run prisons.
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,775 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    Typical liberal claptrap. Prisons were privatized precisely because the government-run penal institutions were horribly inefficient and corrupt. Do a little research into the history of state-run prisons before you slurp down the liberal Kool-Aid served up by the public-service unions who would benefit by the elimination of privately-run prisons.
    Jerry

    So your answer is that because the previous system was corrupt the answer is to replace that system with another system that is guaranteed to become even more corrupt based upon its fundamental structure?

    I'm sure this will be the only time this happens:
    http://www.criminalattorneypa.com/2011/09/pa-judge-who-jailed-juveniles-for-bribes-sentenced-to-17-years.shtml
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,429 Senior Member
    Are you speaking from personal experience with the penal system? It's a lot easier to revoke a private contract, or refuse to renew it, than to unseat a bunch of politically-appointed swine feeding at the public trough. I have extensive experience with both types of systems here in Tennessee, through inlaws and racing team associates, plus business dealings with some top-level penal system administrators in Tennessee. Private is better. Go ahead and dream the impossible dream of having any kind of association with governmnet-supported enterprise that does not become corrupted in a vey short time. It's just not going to happen. If the dummycraps run it, it just happens faster.
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,185 Senior Member
    Gov. Scott of Florida was trying to implement a private prison system, and some libs got together and convinced a judge to put a restraining order on going forward with the plan. Right now, it's in limbo.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,775 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    Are you speaking from personal experience with the penal system? It's a lot easier to revoke a private contract, or refuse to renew it, than to unseat a bunch of politically-appointed swine feeding at the public trough. I have extensive experience with both types of systems here in Tennessee, through inlaws and racing team associates, plus business dealings with some top-level penal system administrators in Tennessee. Private is better. Go ahead and dream the impossible dream of having any kind of association with governmnet-supported enterprise that does not become corrupted in a vey short time. It's just not going to happen. If the dummycraps run it, it just happens faster.
    Jerry

    I would much rather have a number of politically appointed individuals feeding from the trough than large corporations which have billions of dollars in profit motive and a greater ability to concentrate power and influence feeding at the trough. There's orders of magnitude difference in the risks. It is a micro risk vs. a macro risk. By privatizing you are likely to get an operation that runs more efficiently at the small, per inmate scale, but one that is going to be working actively against your interest at the macro level...ensuring that prison population grows and is ineffective at rehabilitating inmates. It is like the "free" razor that has $10 replacement blades or the cheap printer that requires you to by 5 $30 ink cartridges every few months. If you only base your decision on the free or cheap part and ignore the overall costs it sounds like a good deal, but it's not.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,429 Senior Member
    Liberal hot air- - - - -show me some facts and figures, please!
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,775 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    Liberal hot air- - - - -show me some facts and figures, please!
    Jerry

    I'll show you mine if you show me yours :tooth:

    So far your argument has been essentially been that I'm a liberal so I must be wrong and that you know people who know people.

    I've already cited the millions of dollars in funds spent by private prison to lobby politicians for stricter laws (more people in prison for longer) and at least one example of a judge who accepted over a million dollars in payments from a private prison operator for throwing the book at juveniles to help them fill up their new facility.

    I'll come up with more as soon as you make a real argument rather than just blowing off my arguments for being "liberal".
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,982 Senior Member
    Chris:
    Interesting to see that the old alphasigmookie is back, I haven't seen you so worked up since the last SE Shoot
    where have you been or what temp took over your view point?
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,775 Senior Member
    NN wrote: »
    Chris:
    Interesting to see that the old alphasigmookie is back, I haven't seen you so worked up since the last SE Shoot
    where have you been or what temp took over your view point?

    Yeah I guess I'm a little fired up on this one...I really did intend for this thread to just be a survey to get an idea on what everyone else's opinion on the issue was rather than trying to convince everyone else that my opinion was the right one (which it obviously is .:jester::tooth::whip2:)
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,185 Senior Member
    So your answer is that because the previous system was corrupt the answer is to replace that system with another system that is guaranteed to become even more corrupt based upon its fundamental structure?
    I'm sure this will be the only time this happens:
    http://www.criminalattorneypa.com/2011/09/pa-judge-who-jailed-juveniles-for-bribes-sentenced-to-17-years.shtml
    The weak link in the chain, as I see it, is the government appointed judges. If judges refuse to take bribes, then we don't have a problem.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,185 Senior Member
    I really did intend for this thread to just be a survey to get an idea on what everyone else's opinion on the issue was rather than trying to convince everyone else that my opinion was the right one (which it obviously is.
    You've been trying to convince the rest of us that your opinion is the right one, for the 3 years I've been around here. How's that workin' out for ya'?
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,699 Senior Member
    I'm of the general opinion that government corruption, red tape, and general inefficiency, combined, is worse than the inevitable corruption with government selected contractors. Besides, the contractors become corrupt in the first place because the government doesn't do an honest job of selecting them and overseeing them.

    So, either way you slice it, government incompetence and dishonesty are still the problems that need fixing, and we can't do that without more people holding their feet to the fire.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Well, there are considerations:

    We do know the Corrections systems run as has been since the 1890's as some part of Government has always been corrupt, as far as use of prison labor to line pockets, smuggling contraband to prisoners.

    How do you run prisons as private industry sans law enforcement / Government authority as it relates to prisons and prisoners right etc ?
    It seems likely to suffer the same pitfalls as the TSA at airports.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • robert38-55robert38-55 Senior Member Posts: 3,621 Senior Member
    Here is a study done in 1991 in New Mexico.

    The New Mexico Study
    Logan (1991) compared the quality of confinement in a state-operated
    women’s prison in 1988 with a privately operated version of the same
    prison in 1989 and a federal women’s prison in New Mexico. Defined
    along eight dimensions, quality of confinement is measured using 333
    indicators (131 of which were available also for the federal prison). The
    sample consisted of 132 inmates and 112 staff members at the state prison,
    134 inmates and 76 staff members at the private facility, and 78 staff members
    at the federal institution. Results of all possible pairing comparisons
    between prisons were summarized (for each prison on each dimension) in
    a comparative score called the Prison Quality Index. The quantitative data
    were supplemented with qualitative information from survey comments
    and site visits.
    Logan concluded that the private prison outperformed its state and federal
    counterparts on all dimensions except care (where the state scored slightly
    higher) and justice (where the federal prison matched the private).14 Logan
    found that both the state and private prisons were good-quality institutions,
    using the federal prison as a standard of good quality. Although
    each prison had different strengths and weaknesses, on most dimensions
    the state had improved the quality of confinement for its female felons by
    contracting with a private operator.


    In the end, it seems that in spite of the many concerns associated with Prison Privatization, the trend toward increased privatization is likely to continue. In fact, recent initiatives like the Bush Administration's FAIR Act seek to ensure such an outcome by setting mandatory privatization quotas including the privatization of 7,200 federal corrections jobs

    Major Players

    In order to understand modern prison privatization it helps to know something about the companies that are leading the industry:

    •Corrections Corporation of America is America's oldest and largest private corrections company. It operates 60 prisons and jails in the United States housing, approximately 53,000 inmates and detainees, making CCA the sixth largest prison system in the country after Texas, California, New York, Florida, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Additionally, 85% of all CCA facilities are accredited by the American Correctional Association. Finally, since the company was founded in 1983, over 95% of all CCA contracts that have been subject to renewal have been renewed (CCA, 2003).


    •The GEO Group, Inc., formerly Wackenhut Corrections Corporation, a division of The Wackenhut Corporation, is the second largest provider of correctional services to the United States Federal Government. With over 8700 employees worldwide, TGG operates 47 facilities in the United States, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and Canada, with a total capacity of approximately 36,800 beds. TGG also manages medical and mental health rehabilitation facilities, including state psychiatric hospitals like South Florida State Hospital, and provides a variety of medical and mental health services, including those focused on education, substance abuse, counseling, work programs, and community corrections. Finally, TGG provides additional corrections-related services including: secure prisoner escort, court and immigration custody services, and facility maintenance services (TGG, 2003).


    •Cornell Companies, Inc. is another major private corrections provider. This company places a major emphasis on the rehabilitation of both adult and juvenile offenders through individual, group and family counseling, life skills training, substance-abuse treatment, and educational and vocational training. This company also provides a variety of outpatient behavioral health services, as well as, alternative education services, for youths unable to function within the public school system, and a variety of programs designed to help both juvenile and adult offenders readjust to society upon release (Cornell Companies, Inc., 2003).
    "It is what it is":usa:
  • robert38-55robert38-55 Senior Member Posts: 3,621 Senior Member
    The debate between Federal and State run prisons vs, private prisons has a long history in the USA. The privatization of prison is not a new concept in this country. Heck as far back as the 1600's when the first settlers arrived here, there were some private individuals who had in their care the incarserated.
    During the reconstruction period of the south right after the Civil War, there was the Convict Lease System. Used mostly by the southern states it involved the leasing out of prisoners to serve as laborers for the railroad and mining companies and large logging companies. Point is that these private companies assumed all responsibility for the care,housing and security of the prisoner in their employ, and actually paid the state government for their labor According to (Wells,1893).
    The states which used this system were not only relieved of the burden of paying for inmates, they were able to make a profit from each convict laborer. As an added benefit from this the income received from inmate labor would come to form a significant portion of some states total revenues.

    .. Of course modern day prison privatization would be nothing like that. Now a days state and local governments pay strictly regulated private companies to house and care for prisoners humanely in privately run prisons, and provide high quality services within these walls. These companies provide welcome relief to already overcrowded public prison systems and is an attractive alternative to building a new public prison. Lets face it now that a lot of our states bugets are in the red and darn near bankrupt, where is the state going to find the funds to build a new prison these days? Heck most states can't even meet payroll now for cops, firemen EMT etc., let alone find funds to build a new prison.

    The GEO group Inc. in 2003 boasted a savings of 20 to 30% cost savings on new prisons construction and went on to claim that "projects are completed in less time- one to one and a half years compared with three to five years for a comparable government project ( TGG,2003)." They went on to say also that with fixed price contracts it's the contractor, not the clien, who loses out if a construction project goes over budget. However the saving don't stop when th construction is completed. This same company advertises 10 to 20% cost savings on facility management (TGG 2003). The growth of private prisons has the indirect effect of holding down the rising costs of running public prisons through competition. What I mean is Unlike public prisons, private prisons pay both sales and property taxes. "Its not uncommon for a privately owned correctional facility to be the larges singe source of local property tax payment(CCA,2003).
    "It is what it is":usa:
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 8,728 Senior Member
    I started to write a long reply to this thread as when I first retired from the Military, I was a Correctional Officer (C/O) for the state of New Mexico for a couple years before moving to Florida. First, the above mentioned study done in New Mexico should not be compared to any other state institutions as NM is governed by a thing called the Duran Consent Decree. But all that aside, when I was a C/O there was always talk about the Correctional Facilities going private (contract) instead of being run by the State. I didnt know the politics behind that at the time, but I did know that the Officers at contract facilities were rent a cops, not trained C/Os that attended an 8 week accredited academy for training and received continued training while on the job. Whenever there was a problem at one of the contract facilities (womans) it was us The State certified Officers that were called to handle the situation. Contract Facilities are run to make a profit, the cuts have to come from someplace and in most instances, it is cut from training and security. Dont let the studies and politics fool you, think about it this way: Who do you want containing the States craziest and most brutal inmates, State Certified Employees or The lowest contract bidder?
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,775 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    I'm of the general opinion that government corruption, red tape, and general inefficiency, combined, is worse than the inevitable corruption with government selected contractors. Besides, the contractors become corrupt in the first place because the government doesn't do an honest job of selecting them and overseeing them.

    So, either way you slice it, government incompetence and dishonesty are still the problems that need fixing, and we can't do that without more people holding their feet to the fire.

    I'm not so sure. Corruption usually requires a profit motive. In a state run system there are a few areas where issues can arise. The most obvious is smuggling in contraband and looking the other way. That is usually at the guard level and is something that will probably never be eliminated. At the warden or even higher level there are potential opportunities to profit from prison labor or hand out political favors in the form of political appointments to friends/donors or construction contracts. In most cases the same incentives for corruption are there in both private and public prisons.

    When you add a privatized prisons into the mix you add another level of corruption and profit motive into the system. In a private system there is an incentive to reduce costs as much as possible which can (although not necessarily) reduce quality. The much bigger issue though is that private prison companies have a large incentive to encourage the passing of laws that increase their market share either by increasing the fraction of total prisoners in their care or by increasing the total number of prisoners. This creates a massive profit motive for passing legislation that may or may not be within the state or countries best interest. Given what we know about the legislative process and the influence that lobbyists and money have, this IMHO is a far greater threat than anything posed by a slightly inefficient and somewhat corrupt government sponsored system.

    As we've seen in many other areas, when private companies get their tentacles into the public coffers the very rarely let go. Furthermore the profits generated upon the backs of the taxpayers are easily recycled into the political system to ensure that the gravy train keeps running at an ever increasing pace.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,775 Senior Member
    Robert, thanks for the thoughtful analysis and data to support it. I think overall it is a tricky question. I think it probably makes sense in most cases to contract out the construction of facilities, but I'm not as sold on private operators. I just don't see the benefits outweighing the potential risks.

    The state of AZ just released a report looking at the costs of state run vs. private facilities and found that when adjusted for medical costs (private prisons tend to take the most healthy inmates and leave higher cost, sicker inmates in the state system) and a few other factors that for minimum security prisoners that costs were only $0.03/day cheaper for private prisons and in the case of medium security prisoners the cost was $4.60/day higher for private prisons. All of this is before considering any of the broader issues with privatization I've raised in other posts.

    http://www.azcorrections.gov/adc/reports/ADC_FY2010_PerCapitaRep.pdf

    A university of Utah study concluded the following:
    Results suggest privately managed prisons provide no clear benefit or detriment. Cost savings from privatizing prisons are not guaranteed and appear minimal. Quality of confinement is similar across privately and publicly managed systems, with publicly managed prisons delivering slightly better skills training and having slightly fewer inmate grievances.

    http://ucjc.law.utah.edu/wp-content/uploads/86.pdf
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,775 Senior Member
    http://www.npr.org/2011/03/28/134855801/private-prison-promises-leave-texas-towns-in-trouble

    This is somewhat separate, but it looks like in some cases the private prison companies have convinced small towns in TX to publicly fund the construction of prisons that they will then build and run, but in some cases they've bailed out when there aren't enough prisoners leaving the towns on the hook for an expensive, empty prison without any way to pay for it.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,699 Senior Member
    As we've seen in many other areas, when private companies get their tentacles into the public coffers the very rarely let go. Furthermore the profits generated upon the backs of the taxpayers are easily recycled into the political system to ensure that the gravy train keeps running at an ever increasing pace.

    True enough, but the fact remains that the government allows that to happen.

    Contractors can be fired, and others will step to the front to do the work, according to the standards set forth...if the government demands it. Leadership always descends from the top, and if the bureaucrats are dedicated to doing the job correctly, and politics as usual does not prevent them, they can make the contractors do the job. There is no problem firing the people who are not getting the job done, and there is no shortage of good people who will do the work right.

    As it is now, the government hires people based on too many things that have nothing whatsoever to do with their ability to perform the necessary service. Using contractors and letting them hire who they want to do the work allows the government to base the letting of contracts on performance - not ethnicity, age, sex, etc,., as it is now.

    Look at any post office or similar government run institution and you will see too many people doing too little work, getting paid too much to do it, and no hope of replacing the slackers.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Although it is a different line of work, EMS here in Oregon is private, AMR = American Medical Response, and the EMT's are not civil service or part of the Fire Department as in other Cities, the level of care is likely the same, but the employees are short changed as far as how long they have to work in order to collect a pension and other benefits when compared to their civil service counterparts.

    I do think there is a marked difference between a private enterprise prison guard and a sworn civil service Corrections Officer.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    http://www.npr.org/2011/03/28/134855801/private-prison-promises-leave-texas-towns-in-trouble

    This is somewhat separate, but it looks like in some cases the private prison companies have convinced small towns in TX to publicly fund the construction of prisons that they will then build and run, but in some cases they've bailed out when there aren't enough prisoners leaving the towns on the hook for an expensive, empty prison without any way to pay for it.

    Twaddle !!!

    Once the prison is built, the way to pay for it is by renting out the space to other jurisdictions with prisoners and no jail space.
    Corrections jobs are created and paid for, it is a win win situation.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,775 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    Twaddle !!!

    Once the prison is built, the way to pay for it is by renting out the space to other jurisdictions with prisoners and no jail space.
    Corrections jobs are created and paid for, it is a win win situation.

    That was the theory. Problem is I guess there was a prison building boom in TX and now there aren't enough prisoners to go around to all the private operations. Some of the cities are now having to raise taxes to pay the loan back. Again, may be only a few isolated incidences, but I'm glad I don't live in those towns.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • bruchibruchi Senior Member Posts: 2,582 Senior Member
    I have always been partial to the "island prison" concept, have islands for petty criminals, islands for medium criminals, for big criminals and for huge criminals, give them some seed, farm implements, chickens, pigs, etc., and let them fend unsupervised for themselves, if you are still around when their sentence is finished they get to come back to the real world.
    If this post is non welcomed, I can always give you a recipe for making "tostones".
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,429 Senior Member
    bruchi wrote: »
    I have always been partial to the "island prison" concept

    France was partial to that idea, also. From 1854 to 1946, 80,000 prisoners were sent to Devil's Island, a 34-acre Hell on earth a few miles off the coast of French Guiana. Only 30,000 of them survived, many of whom were never allowed to return home to France, forced to live out the remainder of their lives on the mainland.

    Like Citroen automobiles, restaurant menus featuring escargot, and battle rifles sold for surplus "Never fired- - - -only dropped once", the French experiment in prison management was a dismal failure!
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 9,596 Senior Member
    I have cousins who have spent more of their lives in jail than not...... Jail is like a country club to them. When Micheal got busted the last time he told his mother, ''Don't worry mom, I'm just going back home.''

    They have A/C, plenty of food, smokes, TV, video games, porn.......

    Jail should be a bad experience!!!

    sheriff_joe.jpg
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,429 Senior Member
    My SIL is a corrections officer. One of his longtime clients was griping about the food- - - - -"This slop ain't fit to be dog food!" His reply- - - -"Well, it's a good thing we ain't feedin' it to the dogs, then, isn't it?"
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,699 Senior Member
    That was the theory. Problem is I guess there was a prison building boom in TX and now there aren't enough prisoners to go around to all the private operations. Some of the cities are now having to raise taxes to pay the loan back. Again, may be only a few isolated incidences, but I'm glad I don't live in those towns.

    Like a lot of businesses, they gambled on a venture that looked like a sure thing for boosting the the local economy and creating employment opportunities, only to have the government break their backs with over-regulation and social engineering projects. You win some and lose some on business gambles, and right now, they are losing, but no worse than thousands of small businesses who are being stifled by meddling politicians.

    There is no reason why the government couldn't turn this situation to the advantage of everyone by enforcing immigration laws and using these facilities as holding tanks for illegal aliens awaiting deportation, or for handling overflow created by actually sentencing real criminals and making them serve out their terms. They are still turning some really bad guys loose, to keep from violating federal 'over-crowding' regulations.

    With trillions of dollars of so called 'stimulus' money, it wouldn't hurt a thing to help these folks get over the hump until conditions change enough to make these facilities useful again. Instead of stimulating unions and friendly bankers, or hiring more federal employees for taxpayers to support for the rest of their lives, they could actually do what they promised to do with that money, and actually stimulate business.
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,775 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    Like a lot of businesses, they gambled on a venture that looked like a sure thing for boosting the the local economy and creating employment opportunities, only to have the government break their backs with over-regulation and social engineering projects. You win some and lose some on business gambles, and right now, they are losing, but no worse than thousands of small businesses who are being stifled by meddling politicians

    The issue here is they aren't loosing, the tax payers are. The problem with many of these "public-private" partnerships is the private side makes their money either way and it's the tax payers who take all the risk. The companies made money constructing the prison, made money running it for a while and then left the local taxpayers holding the bag of an unplayable loan when running the prison was no longer profitable. Same thing as a sports team blackmailing a town into publicly funding a billion dollar stadium for them, keeping most of the profits and then still skipping town in 10 years after the stadium is no longer state of the art. Nine times out of ten when government mixes with business you can guarantee taxpayers are going to end up getting screwed.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,699 Senior Member
    Nine times out of ten when government mixes with business you can guarantee taxpayers are going to end up getting screwed.

    ...as opposed to ten times out of ten when the government does it all themselves.

    How is the post office working out? Or veteran's hospitals? The public school systems? IRS? Immigration service?

    The simple fact is that government does nothing very well or very efficiently, even if out-of-control corruption did not exist. Throw in the cronyism, bribery, kickbacks, influence peddling, stock market manipulation, slush funds, etc.,etc.,etc., ad infinitum, and the taxpayer is screwed not only by high taxes, but by inflation, and eventually scarcity, when enough businesses stop producing.
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