Prisons for profit (5 billion dollar industry) love Pres. Trump.
In August 2016, before Trump became our president and fired Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, Yates stated that the Obama administration was beginning the elimination of private prisons for the federal government. Audits and studies had revealed that private prisons were not cost effective, but actually provided poor care.
The day Yates made her announcement, the GEO Group’s (largest private prison company) stock fell from $21.53 a share to $13.01. In August of 2016, GEO, started giving major contributions to the Trump campaign.
1. GEO Corrections Holdings Inc., a subsidiary of the GEO Group, contributed $100,000 to a pro-Trump PAC, the day after Yate’s statement declaring the phasing out of federal private prisons.
2. On November 1, 2016, GEO contributed another $125,000 to the same pro-Trump PAC.
3. The same GEO subsidiary also contributed $200,000 to the Senate Leadership Fund ( Republican PAC), in September, 2016.
In 2015, The Obama administration rejected a bid by the GEO Group to build a 1,000-bed immigration detention center in Texas that would replace the Facility run by its competitor Core Civic. The Trump administration reversed the Obama decision and announced that the GEO Group would build the 1000-bed immigration detention center in Texas. It was estimated that the new facility would bring $44 million in annual revenue to GEO. Geo stock price has doubled since August of 2016.
Our new Attorney General, J. Sessions, announced in March, 2017, that the administration will reverse Obama’s policies and continue to use private federal prisons and private federal detention centers.
The profit prison industry controls 126,000 inmates and almost 65% of immigration detention centers.
In October of 2017, the Administration and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) initiated the bidding process for private companies, who have immigrant detention capacity in South Texas, Chicago, Detroit, St. Paul and Salt Lake City.
In addition to the symbiotic relationship between the Trump administration and the prisons for profit industry, we have the crucial issue of private companies profiting from incarceration. Every dollar of reduced care or security is another dollar of profit for the private company.
For example, in 2013, audits by the state of Ohio revealed major problems at Lake Erie Correctional Institution, a private prison, consisting of inadequate staffing, poor medical care, and deplorable living conditions.The toilets were not working and there was no running water in disciplinary units. The staff was not following standard procedures for chronically ill patients. Inmates were triple bunked in small cells. Insufficient staffing levels caused security concerns for employees who worked at the prison. It was evident that additional money spent by the private company would cure the deficiencies cited by the state audit.
Of course, less money spent by a private company means more profit.