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Immigration detention, Penal excess, Police, Private sector interests

Why do we lock up so many people?

Adam Gopnik from the New Yorker back in January 2012 demonstrates the role of corporate interests in the maintenance and expansion of criminal justice.

“No more chilling document exists in recent American life than the 2005 annual report of the biggest of these firms, the Corrections Corporation of America. Here the company (which spends millions lobbying legislators) is obliged to caution its investors about the risk that somehow, somewhere, someone might turn off the spigot of convicted men:

Our growth is generally dependent upon our ability to obtain new contracts to develop and manage new correctional and detention facilities. . . . The demand for our facilities and services could be adversely affected by the relaxation of enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction and sentencing practices or through the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by our criminal laws. For instance, any changes with respect to drugs and controlled substances or illegal immigration could affect the number of persons arrested, convicted, and sentenced, thereby potentially reducing demand for correctional facilities to house them.

Brecht could hardly have imagined such a document: a capitalist enterprise that feeds on the misery of man trying as hard as it can to be sure that nothing is done to decrease that misery.”

Discussion

3 thoughts on “Why do we lock up so many people?

  1. Reblogged this on Just Writ.

    Posted by carolinaanais | September 3, 2013, 10:46 am

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Just Writ | Why do we lock up so many people? | Reclaim Justice Network - September 3, 2013

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