Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Private Prisons Aren't About Saving Money

Dr. Michael Hallett, Professor & Chair for the Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice, sent a letter to Sen. Mike Fasano detailing the problems with Florida's rush to privatize prisons. Hallett warns Fasano that awarding prison contracts with no bid contracts will cost Florida more.

"It renders the state subject to captivity once the contract is awarded, by giving one corporation so much power and control over such a significant segment of the state budget," he said. "You can’t turn this around on a moments notice."

Hallett informs Fasano that one letter isn't enough to describe just how bad the prison privatization is.

"There are so many serious problems with this RFP that it is not easy to digest in one document," he wrote in the memo he sent to Fasano.

Despite claims by Gov. Rick Scott, privatization of Florida's prison system will cost the taxpayers more. The private prison system has resulted in horrible health care abuses that have resulted in inmates dying. Private prison companies have spent millions lobbying for longer sentences. Private prison companies are in it to make a profit. Scott's talking points of privatization saving taxpayers money denies logic.

Corrections Corporation of America has donated heavily to the Republican Party of Florida and to Scott.

Corrections Corp. of America, headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., runs four prisons, and Management Training Corp., based in Utah, runs one.

Those three companies are prime financiers of the Republican Party. GEO Group alone gave more than $400,000 to the party in the past election cycle and another $25,000 to Scott's inaugural bash.

This is cynical opportunism. This has nothing to do with saving tax dollars.

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