Private Prison Industry Profits from Immigrant Detentions at Taxpayer Expense

Another disconcerting investigative report – this time from Chris Kirkham at the Huffington Post – reveals rising profits in the private prison industry from immigrant detention: “the industry has seen its revenues swell at taxpayer expense.” The article explores the industry’s new business model and the profit motive to support laws like Arizona’s, showing that new profits “are in part the result of concerted efforts by the private prison industry to tilt immigration detention policies in its favor.” Tracking increasing levels of lobbying dollars, detention beds, and industry profits, the investigation notes that the two largest private prison companies – Corrections Corporation of America and The GEO Group – “have more than doubled their revenues from the immigrant detention business since 2005.”

When prisons profit by having more people behind bars, it leads to incarceration being given a higher priority than justice. This article demonstrates that harmful immigration policies are being influenced to a large degree by the profits of a private industry, rather than being driven by sound and reasonable policy discussions. That is not a responsible way to make policy on any issue and is certainly not a way to create an immigration system that works for our communities and society.

Read the full report, “Private Prisons Profit from Immigration Crackdown, Federal and Local Law Enforcement Partnerships.”

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