More legal graft for the private prison industry


I’m already 10% of where I need be to, thanks to several readers. Many thanks guys!

See the Paypal logo above? It’s dire or I wouldn’t ask. Now onto the main course: Sci-fi writer Larry Niven worried about organ banks supplied by convicts, the organ banks were always empty and could extend lives for 200 years, so in no time everything under the sun was a capital crime that got you sent to the organ banks for dis-assembly. Instead what we have are private prisons that profit off of crime and arrest, the more crime and the arrest the better, for them, not us. They would be a bad idea even if the owners didn’t lobby/bribe politicians to make everything under the sun worthy of being locked up or just fabricating charges to generate revenue. For one thing, prison guard is a tough job, but it used to be a viable career. Nowadays, in many private prisons, it barely pays above minimum wage and can be sub-contracted out so the guards are temps with no benefits.

But here’s a good example of another dark path private prisons lead us down even as law abiding taxpayers:

Shreveport Times — A national survey has found that Louisiana guarantees private prisons operating in the state that they will have at least 96 percent occupancy, and if they don’t house that many inmates, the state pays them that much, anyway.

A study by In the Public Interest points out what it calls “the shocking prevalence of contract language between private prison companies and state and local governments that either guarantee prison occupancy rates, (which ItPI calls “lockup quotas”) or force taxpayers to pay for empty beds if the prison population falls due to lower crime rates or other factors.” The report labels payment for nonexistent prisoners “low-crime taxes.” Louisiana’s two for-profit prison contracts have what the study calls “a staggering 96 percent occupancy guarantee clause,” but it is not the highest.
Arizona has three contracts that contain 100 percent occupancy guarantee clauses and Oklahoma has three contracts with 98 percent guaranteed occupancy. Following Louisiana’s 96 percent is Virginia, which has one prison with guaranteed 95 percent occupancy.


  1. Pen says

    It’s horrific, and if it wasn’t bad enough, a very disproportionate number of those incarcerated are black. I find it impossible to call it anything but a continuation of race-based slavery by another name. When does it stop?

  2. Holms says

    I would love to hear the rationalisation behind forced ’employment’ in a prison and why it is materially different to chain gangs, indentured servitude and slavery.

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