The Increasing Total Amount of Incarcerated Persons in the United States Is Directly Correlated to the Privatization of Prisons for Profit Which Unfairly Exploits a Labor Force Lacking Legal Rights.

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Prisons in America are ill equipped to smoothly operate with the escalating amount of incarcerated offenders. Despite the United States comprising 4.47% of the world’s population; 25% of all persons imprisoned globally are held within the United States detention centers (Liptak 1). The reemergence of penal servitude – the leasing out of prisoners to private enterprises for work in workshops and factories, has gained momentum in America as cheap labor becomes more desirable for Fortune 500 corporations to turn to for a larger profit. The increasing total amount of incarcerated persons in the United States is directly correlated to the privatization of prisons for profit which unfairly exploits a labor force lacking legal rights.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics 2,266,800 adults were incarcerated in U.S. federal and state prisons, and county jails at year-end 2010 — about .7% of adults in the U.S. resident population. Additionally, 4,933,667 adults at year-end 2009 were on probation or on parole. In total, 7,225,800 adults were under correctional supervision (probation, parole, jail, or prison) in 2009 — about 3.1% of adults in the U.S. resident population. (Guerino 1) With the world’s largest population behind bars one must contemplate the benefits of acquiring such a large workforce, and why the government is making the progression towards privation over state ownership of prisons. Prisons in the United States are operating at max capacity and many detention centers are becoming increasingly unable to operate efficiently, and as a result are now searching for alternatives to find a solution. The Corrections Corporation of America is a company based out of Texas that operates and maintains private prisons across the United States and also works with companies to lease prison labor to produce goods. The CCA offers to relieve existing state prisons by taking them under their management by promising higher efficiency and safety for inmates. For...
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