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PRIVATE PRISONS THREATEN TO SUE STATES UNLESS THEY GET MORE INMATES FOR FREE LABOR

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Freedom is apparently bad for business. That’s the message from the private prison industry which is threatening to sue states if they don’t start locking more people up.

The private prison companies, well-known for profiting off of incarceration and crime, is now saying that the state’s they have contracted with aren’t keeping up their end of the bargain. The private prisons rely on a certain number of inmates for free and virtually-free slave labor.  

That labor is used for a variety of trades, including making uniforms for popular restaurants like McDonalds and Applebee’s. But if the private prisons don’t have enough inmates locked up then production goes down correlative with the decrease in free labor (i.e. slavery).

It comes as a surprise to many Americans, but slavery was never actually abolished in the United States. That’s not a metaphor, it’s a matter of careful reading of the 13th amendment to the Constitution. That amendment – often lauded for abolishing slavery – actually makes an exception for prisons. Slavery is still completely legal as “punishment for a crime.”

USA Today explains the following:

Ratified at the end of the Civil War, the amendment abolished slavery, with one critical exception: Slavery and involuntary servitude actually remain lawful “as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” In other words, according to this so-called punishment clause, if you get pulled over with the wrong controlled substance in your trunk, there’s nothing in the 13th Amendment to ensure you can’t be considered a slave of the state. cont http://www.blacklistednews.com/Private_Prisons_Threaten_To_Sue_States_Unless_They_Get_More_Inmates_For_Free_Labor/45911/0/38/38/Y/M.html

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ON THE TAKE: PRIVATE PRISON FIRMS ARE BUYING ACCESS TO PUBLIC OFFICIALS AT LAVISH CONFERENCES

The prison industry in the United States has grown so large that there are no less than seven professional associations for people who work at prisons and jails. The industry conferences held by these associations provide a perfect venue for private corrections companies to influence government officials with little public oversight, according to a recent report by the watchdog group In The Public Interest(ITPI).

The biggest names in the prison business spend millions of dollars sponsoring these conferences and wooing prison officials with free massages, awards ceremonies, luxury dinner cruises and plenty of corporate schwag. Over the past week, one of the most prominent associations, the American Correctional Association (ACA), held its summer conference in Indianapolis, where major sponsors included private prison companies Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), GEO Group and food services giant Aramark.

The ACA boasts that its "Congress of Corrections" offers "multiple ways to network with industry professionals, find a mentor, get a sneak peek at emerging technology, and hone your leadership skills." At last summer's ACA conference, CCA sent nearly 70 of its own employees, according to ITPI.

Private prison firms and the private companies that provide services such as commissary and health care in prisons are notorious for cutting corners to maximize profits at the expense of health and safety. Aramark was recently cited for causing food shortages and serving food contaminated with maggots to prisoners in Michigan. CCA and GEO Group have been plagued by scandals at their privately run facilities across the United States, and both companies advocate for policies and contract provisions such as "bed quotas" or "lockup quotas" that increase profits but undermine efforts to reduce the nation's exploding prison population and improve conditions.

At industry conferences, however, these companies take the form of cheerful vendors and sponsors of luncheons and seminars where industry representatives can meet in person with government officials. At the National Sheriffs' Association conference, for example, companies that pay between $10,000 and $30,000 in sponsorship fees can present one-hour seminars to attendees. cont http://www.blacklistednews.com/On_the_Take%3A_Private_Prison_Firms_Are_Buying_Access_to_Public_Officials_at_Lavish_Conferences/45892/0/38/38/Y/M.htm

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