Incarceration and Private Prisons in the United States

1276 Words6 Pages
Under the auspices of President John F. Kennedy, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy ordered the permanent shut down of the infamous Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary on March 21, 1963. An island located approximately 2.5 kilometers off the coast of San Francisco, California; the federal prison was home to the most notorious criminals for over three decades. The island also revealed to the world the unsettling state of circumstance the United States Justice and prison system suffers under in modern times. Apart from the brutal management prisoners lived under, the prison had shed a dark light upon the inhumane environment in which prisoners dwelled under in prisons across this nation.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, 0.74% of the United States population was incarcerated in 2011, making up a quarter of the worlds prison population, although the United States makes up less than 5% of the global population. The United States has had the highest incarceration rate per capita in the world since 2002, 39.4% of which are blacks, 20.6% of which are Latino, nearly 72,000 of which are youth, and 27% of which are non-citizens. As statistics in crime continue to rise, prisons become overwhelmed with overcrowding, and the unsuccessful decrease of illegal narcotics across the nation under the War on Drugs, many have longed turned their eyes to a system they see is feeding upon the incarceration of its own citizens.
A 2010 Annual Report documented with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) stated in the document, “a substantial portion of our revenue is generated under facility management contracts that specify per diem payments based upon occupancy.” Moreover, the document further ...

... middle of paper ...

...he idea that a legal system exists which benefits by stripping the legal and civil rights of others is quite troubling. Although individuals deserve to pay the price for breaching law and order, the magnitude in the exploitation of legal and public supplies in the incarceration of citizens for monetary gains in the United States is unfortunate and must be dealt with in a more promising and ethical manner. Addressing the economic, employment, and educational disparities between the wealthy and the poor is a good place to begin, as is probably the focal reason why individuals in these communities continue to break the law. The privatization of the prison system should not be necessarily taken in a negative way, but with the heated opposition of for-profit prisons, a nonprofit option may be the next best option moving forward in the advancement of our legal system.

More about Incarceration and Private Prisons in the United States

Open Document