12-03-08 American Gulag

Private purchasing of prisons locks in occupancy rates

By Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY

Updated 3/8/2012 12:37 PM

WASHINGTON – At a time when states are struggling to reduce bloated prison populations and tight budgets, a private prison management company is offering to buy prisons in exchange for various considerations, including a controversial guarantee that the governments maintain a 90% occupancy rate for at least 20 years.

Federal Bureau of Prisons director Harley Lappin speaks during a news conference at the Thomson Correctional Center in Thomson, Ill., in 2009.Federal Bureau of Prisons director Harley Lappin speaks during a news conference at the Thomson Correctional Center in Thomson, Ill., in 2009.

The $250 million proposal, circulated by the Nashville-based Corrections Corporation of America to prison officials in 48 states, has been blasted by some state officials who suggest such a program could pressure criminal justice officials to seek harsher sentences to maintain the contractually required occupancy rates.

“You don’t want a prison system operating with the goal of maximizing profits,” says Texas state Sen. John Whitmire, a Houston Democrat and advocate for reducing prison populations through less costly diversion programs. “The only thing worse is that this seeks to take advantage of some states’ troubled financial position.”

READ MORE: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-03-01/buying-prisons-require-high-occupancy/53402894/1

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Join us for a dream party in Summer 2012 in Jerusalem al-Quds: Love, Peace and Justice (dance/music/art/study/pray) Summer Celebration
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