Private prisons are the biggest shame of our country – to profit off of the incarceration of people. No other country in the world makes any type of profit from their prisons. But here, the value of stocks depend upon the number of people locked up in our private prisons.
Now, Louisiana now holds the world record as the state imprisons more people per capita than any other state or country in the world, with one out of every 86 adults behind bars. Its rate of incarceration is three times higher than Iran’s and 10 times higher than Germany’s.
More than half of the inmates in the state are housed in local prisons run by sheriffs, and the state’s correction system has created financial incentives for those sheriffs to keep prisons full.
Louisiana Incarcerated: Intro Video
Posted by Andrew Boyd, The Times-Picayune on Friday, May 11, 2012 9:12AM
Louisiana has more citizens in prison than anywhere else in the world. A New Orleans Times-Picayune team of reporters led by Cindy Chang along with photographer Scott Threlkeld investigates why. Here is a video preview of this Times-Picayune special Report.
More videos available here on NOLA.com
A majority of Louisiana’s inmates are now housed in for-profit jails, which are run in many instances by parish sheriffs located in rural areas of the state. The sheriffs receive approximately $25 a day per inmate.
In some instances, sheriffs outsource the prisons to for-profit companies who then operate the prisons themselves. In exchange, the sheriffs receive cash for their department, which allows them to hire more employees.
Additionally, private prisons are not provide hear the amount of rehabilitation as state-run prisons do. The dormitories typically house 80 or 90 women or men sleeping in a large room in bunk beds. But in private prisons, people are just lounging around that dorm. They will literally sit there day after day, year after year, until their sentence is over. Whereas in a state prison, which is where most states house almost all of their inmates, you’re busy whether you like it or not — you have a job or you take classes or you’re learning a trade that will help you get a job when you get out.
Private prisons do not have any reason to help prisoners make it on the “outside” because they love the recidivism rate – they want inmates to return after being released simply because the more inmates, the more the stocks are worth, thus more profit.
Somehow, this has to be unconstitutional. This is a conflict of interests. Laws are being created which a couple of decades ago would have been laughed out of the state house. But the more petty laws, the more will be broke, and the more inmates to filter into the system.
Although I am not from Louisiana, I am horribly ashamed that one of our states has SEVEN times the number of inmates in all of China.