Monday, March 28, 2011

Thank You, NPR

NPR has recently come out with an excellent 2-part report on the private prison industry and its shady dealings, starting with the Walnut Grove Youth CF in Mississippi, which is the target of an ACLU lawsuit. The title link goes to the first part of this fantastic investigation, which as NPR describes it, "found that allegations swirling around the prison raise the fundamental question of whether profits have distorted the mission of rehabilitating young inmates." I think I know the answer to that fundamental question...

The second part of the investigation, linked here, delves into the issue of empty private prison beds. Private prisons are so popular largely because of their promises to bring economic prosperity in the form of taxes and new jobs, to various disparaged areas. Unfortunately, as many towns including Hardin, Montana have discovered, those promises don't always pan out. In fact, there are thousands of empty private prison beds around the country, and a good number of private prisons have never even been opened. This is a serious issue because these prisons are often financed by the towns, who then are incapable of repaying the debt they incur when the facility goes unfilled.

Thank you, NPR, for bringing some much-needed attention to these issues


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