In June 2015 a very suspicious prison break with an implausibly lengthy manhunt was reported out of New York State. The story line held that a prison worker who met one of the prisoners while in the prison hospital developed a romantic interest in him and helped him and his buddy escape. This happened to be a similar story line to one from a show I had been watching at the time called Prison Break. I found this fishy and wondered if it foreshadowed an infusion of federal cash into the prison-industrial complex. Perhaps prisons would be allowed to deteriorate or escapes would be allowed or even orchestrated to justify spending money on that system.
I observed when I lived in Dallas that Cowboys Stadium fell into disrepair just as Jerry Jones was lobbying for taxpayer subsidies to build a money-printing colossus. The
fan-base taxpayer-base support surged as the stadium deteriorated. So when the nationally advertised prison break occurred, I remembered that neat trick for getting taxpayers to support massive spending projects and I’ve been watching ever since for more events garnering national attention that could be used to justify federal prison spending, or even lead to it directly.
Here are some of the stories I flagged since the New York break:
The Trouble with Kate’s Law
The legislation seeks to deter crime by undocumented immigrants, but it could end up dramatically swelling the U.S. prison population.
For more on the suspicious details of the Kate Steinle story, click here.
How Jeff Sessions’ Mandatory Minimums Benefit Private Prisons
The attorney general rescinded the Obama administration’s policy to reduce drug offenders’ sentences.
Federal Prison Population Expected to Grow Under Trump
Increase is anticipated in prosecutions of illegal immigrants, drug offenders
Other escape stories…
California prison escape: Remaining two prisoners recaptured in San Francisco
The three prisoners escaped from Orange County Men’s Jail, near Santa Ana on January 22
And finally, in today’s news:
Sheriff: Georgia inmates overpowered, disarmed slain guards
Why do I care? I became aware of how the private prison system worked many years ago. Cronyism and bribery are theft and truly make me sick, but in this industry it’s also murder in that it incarcerates people–takes their lives in effect–for a buck. Here’s an article about it, but there is much, much more to the corruption inherent in the prison-industrial complex than anyone has ever exposed.
For further reading (h/t Ken): The Cost of Georgia’s Private Prisons
NB: mandatory sentencing is the lifeblood of the prison-industrial complex