Private Prison Policy Analysis

1450 Words6 Pages
Regardless which side of the political compass a person lies, Americans agree that too many individuals are imprisoned in the United States. In fact, the United States holds about 5% of the world population, but nearly 25% of the prison population (Ye Hee Lee 2015). The advent of dog-whistle politics combined with implicit racial bias has allowed for casual observers and social scientists alike to notice how minorities disproportionately make up the composition of prisons since the 1970s. While no single policy exists that can fix this "New Jim Crow," getting rid of private prisons offers the easiest first step toward mending contemporary racism. Simply put, policy that eradicates private prisons in the United States proves practical as they…show more content…
Their lobby spends money on direct lobbying to candidates, campaign contributions, and in assisting in drafting legislation. The result of these efforts has led to laws such as the three-strike rule in California, anti-illegal immigration legislation, and increased immigration enforcement (Cohen 2015). These policies are inherently malicious and most harmful to minorities while attempting to keep as many people in prison as possible in a bid to generate more revenue to keep their shareholders happy. As such, the elimination of private prisons would effectively destroy their lobby, removing their influence over legislation that feeds off racial…show more content…
It also means cutting expenditures as much as possible. To achieve this goal, private prisons attempt to cut the cost of each inmate in three self-reinforcing ways. The first requires taking in low-cost inmates. As a result, this protocol means that private prisons are disproportionately composed of young male minorities, the exact demographic the War on Drugs has targeted. This group allows for cheaper housing because they are significantly less likely to require costly medical services. Coupled with a lower-paid prison staff and less spending on educational programs, violence in private prisons is higher compared to public ones (Quandt 2014). Because of increased violence and fewer programs that help young minorities integrate back into society, a higher recidivism rate exists in private prisons. Hence, a transition back to public prisons that better emphasize programs useful towards younger convicts will keep more out of prison longer, strengthening communities and reducing the incredibly disproportionate number of racial minorities in the United States. Of course, no matter how good the policy, meaningful change only comes through public outcry to pressure their representatives in prioritizing the elimination of private prisons. To exterminate private prisons, the communication of the policy needs to be framed in a way that galvanizes the public to change their opinions on prisoners. Namely,
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