LA: Plantations, Prisons and Profits (off topic)

The New York Times:  “Louisiana is the world’s prison capital. The state imprisons more of its people, per head, than any of its U.S. counterparts. First among Americans means first in the world. Louisiana’s incarceration rate is nearly triple Iran’s, seven times China’s and 10 times Germany’s.”

That paragraph opens a devastating eight-part series published this month by The Times-Picayune of New Orleans about how the state’s largely private prison system profits from high incarceration rates and tough sentencing, and how many with the power to curtail the system actually have a financial incentive to perpetuate it. Full Article

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Thanks for posting this. Note: in order to meet the federal mandate to reduce its prison population California has sent approximately 10,000 inmates to for-profit prisons out of state. I believe, but am not certain, that Louisiana is one of the states, along with Arizona, Alabama, and Tennessee. If California ever even remotely begins to take rehabilitation seriously the story would be different. In 2009,2010 thousands of correctional educators were laid off, both vocational and academic, in spite of the fact that for every dollar spent on educating inmates the state saves approximately $2, as recidivism drops drastically among felons who received an education while incarcerated, and the amount of money the state spends on educating inmates is a minor drop in the bucket of the state budget. One of the problems in CA is CCPOA–CA Correctional Peace Officers Assoc.,–the guards union. It may not be as big as SEIU, but it is the most powerful union in the state with an obvious stake in keeping the system fed with new bodies. As an academic correctional educator myself I can tell you that the CA Dept. of Corrections only pays lip service to rehabilitation, and has little regard for correctional educators. And the beat goes on………..