Who Hijacked Our Country

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Florida Holds Off on Private Prisons — For Now

Yesterday, Florida’s state senate defeated a bill which would have privatized twenty-six state-run prisons.  Nine Republican senators voted with the Democrats.  The vote was a victory for prison guards and other unionized prison employees, as well as for the prisoners themselves.  For that matter, the vote was a huge victory for everyone who’s properly horrified by the prospect of a private corporation being able to imprison people for profit.

It was a defeat for the state’s largest private prison companies — the GEO Group, Corrections Corporation of America, and Management and Training Corp. — and their favorite boy toy, Rick Scott, who had pushed for the bill.

If this bill had passed, 3,500 state prison employees would have lost their jobs and one fifth of the state’s prison inmates would have been turned over to a private prison company.  Imagine having your life become just a number on a prison corporation’s balance sheet.

There’s one political casualty from yesterday’s vote:  Republican state senator Mike Fasano spoke out against this bill before the vote.  Senate president Mike Haridopolos retaliated by taking away Fasano’s chairmanship of the committee overseeing prison issues.  Fasano said:

“I’ve been in the legislature for 18 years and I always have stood up for my conscience, and if it means me having to lose my chairmanship, I wear that as a badge of honor.”

And Florida senate president Mike Haridopolos is hereby anointed Cocksucker of the Week.  In addition, let’s hope Haridopolos gets framed for something and does some hard time in one of these private prisons he’s so gung ho about.

Anyway, a crucial battle was won in yesterday’s Florida vote, but the war is still looming.  The Corrections Corporation of America is on a huge lobbying bender in 48 states.  For any state that’s facing a budget crisis — and what state isn’t? — Corrections Corporation of America is making a seductive offer.  They want to purchase each state’s prison facilities in return for a twenty-year management contract.  Pretty tempting, no?  Invest YOUR sons and daughters in the lucrative Prison-Industrial Complex NOW.

In case you’re not creeped out enough already, the Corrections Corporation of America is also guaranteeing that their private prisons will be at least ninety percent full.  Is it just me, or does that sound like a self-fulfilling prophecy?

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Blogger Mr. Charleston said...

Thank goodness something went right in this state, for now. Crime is already a major economic engine and the last thing we need is to turn incarceration over to a "for profit" rape and pillage machine. Next they'll be trying to privatize the State Attorney's office. I can see it now, a commission on convictions so as to send them to an organization that promises 90% occupancy. Don't cha love it?

February 16, 2012 at 3:25 PM  
Blogger jadedj said...

Something is rotten in Denmark here boys and girls. Ninety percent full? WTF does that mean? How are they going to guarantee that?

February 16, 2012 at 5:26 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

I have said it before and will say it again... as punitive as the Republicans are, privatized prisons ought to be a conservative's wet dream. How great would it be to be able to make money off of punishing people? And like Jadedj and Mr. C. suggest, the prisonessmen would find all kinds of great ways to fill the prisons and keep them turning a profit.

February 16, 2012 at 8:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's like When Bush tried to privatize the Iraq military with Halliburton and Blackwater.

Look no further then the Stockbrokers


February 16, 2012 at 9:04 PM  
Anonymous Jolly Roger said...

Hopefully, the Klanbaggers have finally taught Americans that they are not capable of producing anything good, and we can start getting rid of their Governors.

February 17, 2012 at 2:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 17, 2012 at 3:50 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Maybe they should follow California's model,just release them into the streets for the citizens to deal with,they'd will be paying for them one way or another

February 17, 2012 at 3:51 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Mr. C: It's all the worst of a police state and unregulated capitalism. A gung ho prosecutor getting paid by the conviction, working on commission -- that's a nightmare we need to avoid.

jadedj: Oh, they'll guarantee it -- more pot arrests, prostitution arrests, stricter laws against birth control...

Snave: "Prisonessmen" LOL. That would be America's worst nightmare, more people getting locked up just so a few private prison executives can make even more money.

Erik: It would be like Blackwater (or whatever they're calling themselves this week) patrolling the streets of America and making arbitrary arrests; plus being judge and jury.

JR: It's definitely time for these Klanbagger governors to get voted out.

February 17, 2012 at 6:12 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

I'm not up for framing Haridopolos. I can't help but wonder, though, if some close scrutiny of his situation might find that the pro-private-prisons interests had crossed his palm with silver.

February 18, 2012 at 12:00 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: I'm sure there's been some hanky panky going on between Haridopolos and the Cash4Prisons industry, and this should definitely be investigated.

February 18, 2012 at 12:38 PM  
Anonymous Jolly Roger said...

Maybe they should follow California's model,just release them into the streets for the citizens to deal with,they'd will be paying for them one way or another

Jesuski W. Christ, you are one dumb broad. If you were capable of anything not having to do with the kitchen, you'd know that California looks like the land of peace and love when compared with the crime rate in Florida. Or Texas.

Now stifle yourself, and get back in the kitchen! We're waiting for our meat loaf.

February 18, 2012 at 1:21 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

you're a moron shut up. Stop letting your Meat Loaf.

February 18, 2012 at 7:11 PM  

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