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Cheaper By the Dozens

Posted by T. Resnikoff // September 20th 2013 // Issues and Trends, UUA // no comments

When private companies provide incarceration facilities and services, government often finds that the more people incarcerated, the cheaper it is. We re-post this story from the Huffington Post which provides insight into how the culture of Mass Incarceration works.   – Ed.

One Disturbing Reason For Our Exploding Prison Population

Infographic by Jan Diehm for The Huffington Post. Click on the image to see a larger version on Huffington Post.

Prison companies have an airtight business plan: sign contracts with states obliging them to fill prison beds.

Most quotas require at least 90 percent of the beds in a prison to be filled, according to a new report by the advocacy group In the Public Interest, and quotas were part of nearly two-thirds of the contracts the group analyzed. Prison companies use the profits to expand, effectively pulling the strings on state prison populations as lawmakers must incarcerate a certain number of people — or pay. The state of Arizona recently paid the prison company Management & Training Corp. $3 million for empty beds when a 97 percent quota wasn’t met, reported HuffPost’s Chris Kirkham.


The U.S. leads the world in incarcerating its residents, with one in 100 adults behind bars. Over the past 30 years the prison population has more than quadrupled, mostly due to an increase in drug offenses.

For more on how the prison industry makes money, click here.

About the Author

Ted Resnikoff is the Digital Communications Editor at the Unitarian Universalist Association.
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