Response#14 LSJ 375 - increased prison populations state and federal governments have pushed capital into the development of our nation’s prison

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Response: GOING UP THE RIVER The prison industry within the United States has de-evolved from a publicly run institute into a private, capitalistic, profit driven machine. Hallinan argues that modern private prison industrial complexes are being drawn to rural areas as a viable means of economic development. He maintains that while this type of economic growth may seem attractive to small towns, it comes however with a high cost. The negative taint and stress associated with prison employment in conjunction with the inherent lack of accountability in private corporations combine to create an economic nightmare for rural communities. Like many of the arguments covered this semester, the sequence of prison development and exploitation occurs in cyclical fashion. Herbert’s lectures and earlier readings point to sentencing guidelines and moral panics as causes for high incarceration rates. In response to
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Unformatted text preview: increased prison populations, state and federal governments have pushed capital into the development of our nation’s prison systems. Private corporations view this increased spending as a possible means for profit and thereby petition lobbyist’s to allow prison privatization. Increased privatized prison construction increases the need for larger prison populations. Thus, corporations reform low level criminal sentencing through legislative lobbying and political contributions. This compounding political and social dilemma seems a discouraging and unstoppable force. Perhaps by eliminating political contributions and reducing the effect of corporate lobbyists, we may see a decrease in this type of government spending. However, change in this political arena appears inopportune in that those responsible for oversight are participants directly benefiting from its continued practice....
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This note was uploaded on 10/21/2008 for the course LSJ 375 taught by Professor Herbert during the Fall '07 term at University of Washington.

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