When it comes to the privatization of services provided by the government, there is one that certainly raises a lot of debate: prisons. Certainly, no one in their right mind wants to live with a bunch of murderers, rapists, and thieves, and keeping them separate from the civil part of society is certainly something many people value. When it comes to providing services, the private sector tends to provide them in a much more efficient and fair manner. However, in some cases, private companies providing services traditionally offered by the government end up acting more like government.
Take Corrections Corporation of America. The nation’s largest private prison provides prisons for the government, including the penitentiary in my home state of Idaho. CCA makes its money by contracting with state governments, often with a quota to keep the prison population at a certain level. Many of the prisoners are in on drug “offenses” and the fact that somebody is profiting off the drug war means we still have a long way to go for it to end.
While on this side of the “border,” people are locked in cages for nonviolent “crimes,” people on the side are in a war zone. These undocumented immigrants risk everything to find refuge, but when they get here, they find themselves rounded up and put in detention centers with a private prison licking its chops. Men, women, children, babies, it doesn’t matter, Corrections Corporation of America needs to make money. $49 million to be exact.
Now as a general rule, I am not opposed to profits, however I draw the line when those profits are gained in an immoral way. Locking up children for crossing an imaginary line declared by criminals and then making money off of them is something I find to be quite criminal.