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An Unprecedented View of America's For-Profit Criminal Justice System


An Unprecedented View of America's For-Profit Criminal Justice System

Donald Cohen

More and more Americans--including leaders from both political parties--agree that our criminal justice system is broken. Even former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says we can no longer afford "business as usual." There's no debate: mass incarceration is neither cost-effective for taxpayers nor safe for our communities.

But the private corrections industry, made up of companies that make more profit when more people are in the system, could make real change harder.


This is the predictable legacy of western "culture" masquerading as "human nature". Important to remember is that the first thread dropped from the fabric is nature, de-fined (etymology includes: to finish, conclude, come to an end; bring to an end; define, determine with precision) as something to use, an object from which to extract, ultimately, perverse power by fragmentation.
Sort of what this mind, fingers and keyboard are currently doing. Yet this is a "product" of virtually 99.99% of what is not defined and as not being of value according to the 'criteria' (etymology: 1660s, from Latinized form of Greek kriterion "means for judging, standard," from krites "judge," from PIE root *krei- 'crisis') from which it arises.

For instance, for your consideration - a petition calling for investigation:
"(...) According to a recent front-page article in Bloomberg Magazine, Wal-Mart hired a defense contractor, Lockheed Martin, to use military-grade cybersecurity techniques to monitor the social media accounts of labor organizers and Wal-Mart employees. Worse, on at least one occasion, the company’s global security team “began working with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces” to counter worker protests. (...)"


Three things come to mind:

One: Who guards the guards? What happens to any society when so much of its legal infrastructure, tax money, and human treasure go into a prison-industrial system?

Two: As Janine Wedel pointed out in her book on The Shadow Elite, there was a robust program aimed at privatizing many of the functions formerly run and managed by government entities. These government entities were arguably answerable to The People, the constituents of very real regions and districts.

Now the chain of accountability has been watered down as private entities can hide their nefarious dealings in ways that government entities cannot.

Three: Disaster Capitalism's mark on this system of incarceration: Just as it's cheaper to work towards prevention than to apply boatloads of cure, instead of investing in a system that made people less likely to break laws, disinvestment in urban deserts inevitably contributes to an ongoing stream of would-be inmates.

Disaster Capitalism relies upon creating problems and then seeing privatizers rush in proclaiming that they alone have the solution. They charge more than did their former government-run counterparts (Insurance company management of health care as opposed to direct access is a significant example of this ridiculous business-devised rip-off) and provide worse services (think: Detroit's water today).


The US prison system is an obscenity and it an obscenity to call the apparatus that sends the people there a justice system.

Of the 2.2 million inmates currently in prison fully 90 percent of them never had a trial. These people were threatened and coerced into plea bargains promised longer sentences and the entire weight of the state and its financial resources would be used at trial to convict.

If one is poor and it stated "confess and you will get out in three years, go to trial and we will make sure you found guilty and you will get 30 years what would that person do?

Some states even base the pay of public defenders on the number of trials the defender loses.


I am sure Newt does not want to end privatization or has he admitted that privatization of many services does not work?

We need to claw back privatization and put people to work for the public and if that means government then we need to elect people who work for the interest of the public and not these giant profit seeking corporations.

We need to clean out the government employee profit seekers who only go into government as takers.