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© 2019 by Samson Huang.  All Rights Reserved.

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The Information Needs to go Viral

February 26, 2019

We currently live in an issue-based divided nation.  Americans are more divided than ever over immigration policies, gender and racial equality, climate change validity and the economy.

 

One issue Americans (or broadly speaking - all human beings) should all agree on is the gruesome Orwellian implications on human civilization from the business of privately owned for-profit prisons.

 

Our criminal justice system is based arguably on fair and just laws with an equally fair and just judicial process.  If a member of society is found to be guilty of an offense, then society as a whole should find a fair and just way to ensure this member of society 1) understands the harm committed to society, 2) rehabilitates to health, and 3) integrates back into society with the goal of avoiding a repeated offense.

 

The business of private for-profit prisons adds no value to that process.  The essential commodity in operating a private prison is living human beings.  Without people to fill the prison cells, the business would have no means to operate and struggle to earn a profit due to a lack of commodity.  Therefore, in order for the shareholders of private for-profit prisons to receive a "return" on their investment, the board of directors of these private prisons have a corporate fiduciary duty to ensure that the prison cells are filled at all times.

 

As such, it is in the interest of these privately owned prisons to "create" and incarcerate more prisoners from society.  The idea of rehabilitating the prisoners to "normal" or the goal of avoiding repeat offenders are of little concern for private prisons' business interests.  It is often found through audits personally overseen by Florida state Rep. David Richardson, drastic cuts and reduction in basic prison services, necessities and programs are carried out in these for-profit prisons.

 

In Florida, there are 7 such privately owned for-profit prisons which house about 10 percent of the 98,000 prisoners.  According to an article reported by the SunSentinel (2/14/2018), "The Corporations seeking private prison contracts are politically powerful and well connected.  They spend millions of dollars in Florida on lobbying teams and campaign contributions."  A new report from the non-profit organization Sentencing Project revealed just how quickly private for-profit prisons have come to control America's prison system.  Between 2000 and 2016, Florida's number of privately imprisoned inmates escalated from 3,912 in 2000 to 12,176 in 2016 - a jump of 211 percent.

 

Americans need to be aware that creating and supporting private for-profit prisons is a terrifying glimpse into an Orwellian future, that strips away our ability to treat each other with dignity and respect.

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