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An Argument Against Private Prisons?  
User currently offlineSKYSERVICE_330 From Canada, joined Sep 2000, 1406 posts, RR: 5
Posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 2734 times:

The lowest of the low
From The Economist print edition
Feb 26th 2009 | NEW YORK
http://www.economist.com/world/unite...displaystory.cfm?story_id=13185306

EARLIER this month, two judges in Pennsylvania’s Luzerne County admitted sentencing thousands of children to jail in return for kickbacks from a prison-management company. Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan received a commission for every day they sent a child to private juvenile detention centres run by Pennsylvania Child Care and a sister company. The pay-offs came to $2.6m over seven years.
__

Absolutely disgusting. Makes you wonder how widespread this sort of thing could be.

10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineB6JFKH81 From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2866 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 2695 times:

When I first heard that there was such a thing as a prison run by a company, this was one of the first things that came to my mind "I wonder how many kickbacks are being given out, and how many?". I think this is just the tip of the iceberg. AFAIK, there are privately owned prisons for adults too, and the prisoners are able to work real jobs (like telemarketing, etc.) which makes money for the company that owns the prison.

I wonder if the judges will be going to a privately owned prison when they get sentenced? LOL!

~H81



"If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it"
User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 2, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 2677 times:



Quoting B6JFKH81 (Reply 1):
I wonder if the judges will be going to a privately owned prison when they get sentenced? LOL!

It you are of a mind to have a snigger at the bewigged ones getting a dose of what they handed out:
http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/...term/2008/10/31/1224956332577.html
Former judge faces lengthy jail term

Malcolm Brown November 1, 2008
Guilty ... Marcus Einfeld lied about a $77 driving offence.

AFTER nearly three years of wrangling, statutory declarations, surprise witnesses, conflicting accounts and courtroom manoeuvres, the Marcus Einfeld saga reduced itself yesterday to two words: "guilty" and "guilty" - his responses to the two indictments read out in the Supreme Court.


I cannot find the quotes but the prosecutor read out some of the sentencing statements the good judge had made when he was sitting at the front of the court. All he had to do was pay the $77. Americans figured in his excuses, he claimed his car was being driven by an American woman who turned out to have been dead for three years.


User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7687 posts, RR: 21
Reply 3, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2601 times:
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National infrastructure should never be in the hands of private companies whose sole purpose is to make money. Whether it be prisons, water supply, electricity supply, whatever - we need these things to live, and they should be run for the good of the people and not to line the pockets of the executives of private companies. I hate this kind of privatisation with a passion.


✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlineJohns624 From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 899 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2575 times:

I always thought that law enforcement is one of the primary tasks of government. I don't see how it can be privatized. Aren't CO's LE officers?

User currently offlinePacificjourney From New Zealand, joined Jul 2001, 2731 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2575 times:

I think that as the article points out, it is far more an arguement against elected judges, never mind private prisons !


" Help, help ... I'm being oppressed ... "
User currently offlinePyrex From Portugal, joined Aug 2005, 3906 posts, RR: 28
Reply 6, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2561 times:

Private prisons are wrong on so many levels it isn't even funny, but the example of these judges in particular is only the most blatant form of disrespect for a sovereign government. Prison "management" companies routinely lobby state and federal officials to pass laws toughening the sentencing guidelines for even petty crimes, restricting the flexibility of judges, and that is technically legal. Conflict of interest, much?


Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19265 posts, RR: 58
Reply 7, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 2557 times:

I am of the opinion that there are certain things that should NEVER be privatized. Prisons are one of them. It encourages a higher prison population (we already have the highest per capita in the world), prisoner abuse, and this sort of judicial abuse.

User currently offlineShyFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2518 times:

Disclosure: I have worked (pasted tense, note that) at private prison facilities (state and federal) in various capacities. Allow me to provide an insider's view.

Quoting B6JFKH81 (Reply 1):
AFAIK, there are privately owned prisons for adults too, and the prisoners are able to work real jobs (like telemarketing, etc.) which makes money for the company that owns the prison.

That would depend upon the facility and the contract it has with the government body. At one of the facilities I worked at (contracted to the State of New Mexico) jobs working in telemarketing (inbound calls only) were available to the Inmate population. The state ran the program (handling calls for the Dept of Tourism) and the employees overseeing the operation were state employees as well.

Quoting Johns624 (Reply 4):
Aren't CO's LE officers?

I can only speak for the New Mexico when I say this, but no, they are not. State Correctional Officers attend a different academy with a different curriculum. Officers that were employed by the company I worked for used to attend the same academy, but now attend a training program overseen by the state (and using their curriculum) and held at a local branch of New Mexico State University. At the facility run for the feds, the pre-service training was all in house and while the company conducted the training, the Federal vof Prisons told them how and what to teach.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 7):
It encourages a higher prison population (we already have the highest per capita in the world), prisoner abuse, and this sort of judicial abuse.

Not necessarily. Abuse of prisoners can occur at any facility. The company I worked for took a very dim view of it and was more proactive about it than the contracting agency. Not all companies are the same but that is an issue for the contracting agency. If they turn a blind eye to it, they are just as guilty.

As for encouraging a higher prison population, I don't buy it. The company I worked for didn't have to go looking for prisoners to fill beds. There is always a state looking to get Inmates out of their hair. At the state facility I worked at, the company had to fight the state to get them to stop sending Inmates because it was creating a dangerous overcrowding issue.


User currently offlineMD-90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 8502 posts, RR: 12
Reply 9, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2516 times:

Isn't this an argument against the corrupt judges of the State?

User currently offlineSKYSERVICE_330 From Canada, joined Sep 2000, 1406 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 2426 times:



Quoting Pacificjourney (Reply 5):
I think that as the article points out, it is far more an arguement against elected judges, never mind private prisons !



Quoting MD-90 (Reply 9):
Isn't this an argument against the corrupt judges of the State?

The article makes mention of it being "another blow against elected judges" but does not really elaborate or argue the point. That said, I suppose the article is an argument against both. Although, I'm not convinced that a non-elected judge would be any less willing to accept bribes from private prison companies for monetary gain...although, I suppose non-elected judges do not have to worry about raising money for re-election.


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