Sen. Bernie Sanders understands that our system of justice is broken. The United States has 25% of the world’s inmates and only 5% of the world’s population.
Sen. Sanders, a Democratic presidential candidate has proposed new legislation that will help with this crisis. He stated on Tuesday, “My legislation will eliminate federal, state and local contracts for privately run prisons within 2 years…”
All presidential candidates should follow Sen. Sander’s lead and recognize that our justice system should not have private prisons. Private correctional facilities, such as The GEO Group, Inc. ( GEO), are focused on profit and not the rehabilitation of the inmates entrusted to their care.
According to their web site, GEO is the world’s second largest provider of private correctional facilities. GEO’s prisons are located in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and South Africa. The GEO Group Inc’s gross profit for the twelve months ending in June of 2014 was $413 million. GEO is a highly profitable company, but this is not the complete picture of this giant corporation.
Reports from several states have revealed that GEO’s prisons were known for inmate abuse, workplace violence, and fraudulent reporting at its U.S. facilities. One federal judge concluded that GEO “allowed a cesspool of unconstitutional and inhuman acts and conditions to germinate” at one Mississippi facility for juveniles.
GEO has invested significantly in immigration detention facilities. In 2012, members of Congress demanded an investigation of the GEO Broward facility after reports that the center was holding immigrants who should have been released and that it was not providing adequate medical care to the detainees.
It is simple math. The goal of a private prison company is profit. Increasing the number of inmates means more profit. Spending less money on their prisons and the care of inmates means more profit for private prison companies.
It is time for all presidential candidates to support Sen.Bernie Sander’s proposals for reforming our broken system of justice.
By: Bradley Schwartz
Founder of prisonpath.com