Earlier this year, a Pennsylvania judge was convicted of racketeering, of taking bribes from parties of interest in his cases. It was a fairly routine case of bribery, with one significant exception. The party making the payoffs was a builder and operator of youth prisons, and the judge was rewarding him by sending lots of kids to his prisons.From Who Wants to Keep the War on Drugs AND Put You in Debtor's Prison by Matt Stoller.
Stoller quotes this interesting passage from a recent 10K filing from The Corrections Corporation of America:
The demand for our facilities and services could be adversely affected by the relaxation of enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction or parole standards and sentencing practices or through the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by our criminal laws. For instance, any changes with respect to drugs and controlled substances or illegal immigration could affect the number of persons arrested, convicted, and sentenced, thereby potentially reducing demand for correctional facilities to house them.It is hard enough to have a rational debate about drug policy or immigration policy without lobbyists representing corporations whose vested interest in seeing people thrown in prisons has nothing whatsoever to do with the danger that those people pose to society.