Florida Senate Rejects Bill for Private Prison Complex

The Florida Senate today put the kabosh on Republican plans to turn 30 state prisons into the largest private prison complex in the country. Florida incarcerates more than 100,000 inmates, making it the third largest incarcerator in the country (Only Texas and Calfornia have more inmates.).

As the ACLU says:

If lawmakers want to save money in our prison system, they should reform mandatory minimum sentencing, invest in re-entry programs and re-visit parole policies that feed the addiction to incarceration and throw people into the revolving door that is our prison system. Privatization schemes, often coupled with inflated claims of cost savings, distract policymakers from an inescapable truth: The best way to reduce prison spending is to reduce the number of people we imprison.

The profit motive is a huge part of the problem.

Julie Ebenstein, Policy & Advocacy Counsel at the ACLU of Florida, adds:

[P]rivate prisons aren’t reform – they deform the process by linking corporate profit to incarceration. The bottom line is that private prisons make money by keeping people in prison when we should be looking for ways to keep them out in the first place.”

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  • Display: Sort:
    I'd go one further than the ACLU... (none / 0) (#1)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 09:36:58 AM EST
    private for-profit prisons pervert the process.  Sully the process.  Corrupt the process. Dehumanize the process.  

    And the process is sullied, perverted, corrupted, and dehumanized enough, tyvm.  Good on the Fla Senate for shooting this down, hopefully we're turning the tide on the inhumane privatization of over-incarceration trend.

    I Would Argue the Same... (none / 0) (#3)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 11:43:27 AM EST
     ...for privatizing the war forces as well, which is actually more expensive in dollars, but very profitable in the bad publicity department.

    One could probably argue the point for any service the government performs that has been privatized, from road building to utilities.  All of it good for Corp USA, and bad for citizen joe.

    Put the prisons are especially egregious, because dosh is one thing to give up a little of, but freedom should ever be put against Corp USA's bottom line, it will never win.

    I am shocked Florida said no, and convinced privatizing prisons was the driving force behind the Arizona immigration non-sense, namely because Brewer's husband in intertwined so tightly.

    This is one industry that should have zero lobbying influence, but it does, and I suspect it's more powerful then ever.


    I was suprised and happy to see this (none / 0) (#2)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 10:55:39 AM EST
    Glad to see some sanity in FL.