Mass incarceration: An American problem

Private prisons are profiting from America's mass incarceration problem.


America has a prison problem. As the world’s leading jailer, the United States has more than 2.2 million people behind bars.

While the 1980s and 1990s “tough on crime” politics is responsible for the boom in incarceration rates, the U.S. now has more than 1,267,000 people locked up in state prisons, 744,500 in local jails and 216,900 in federal facilities, ACLU reported. That’s 10 times more than 50 years ago.

And a result of this is the privatization of prisons. With mass incarceration filling state and federal prisons to the brim, the Corrections Corporation of America – the largest for-profit private prison corporation – was founded in the 1980s to help save governments money and space. Now today, more than a fifth of the overall prison population is locked up in private prisons, but in some instances, it costs more than governmental prisons, ACLU reported

As controversy swirls around private prisons, the CCA continues to profit from America’s mass incarceration problem.

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