April 13, 2012 in Headline, Politics, World News
Former Latin American presidents explain why the devastating drug war must end now.
What is the best way to deal with drugs? Criminalizing drug users or treating them as patients? Sticking to a strict prohibitionist stance or experimenting with alternative forms of regulation and prevention?
Latin America is talking about drugs like never before. The taboo that has long prevented open debate about drug policies has been broken — thanks to a steadily deteriorating situation on the ground and the courageous stand taken by presidents Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, Otto Perez Molina of Guatemala and Laura Chinchilla of Costa Rica.
The facts speak for themselves. The foundations of the U.S.-led war on drugs — eradication of production, interdiction of traffic, and criminalization of consumption — have not succeeded and never will. When there is established demand for a consumer product, there will be a supply. The only beneficiaries of prohibition are the drug cartels. Read the rest of this entry →
February 26, 2012 in Editorial, Headline, Occupy, Politics, Update
by Arvind Dilawar
Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), owner of the largest private prison system in the United States, recently sent a letter to 48 states offering up to $250 million to manage government-owned detention centers. The letterlists the criteria of eligible purchases, which include an assurance that state corrections agencies “have sufficient inmate population to maintain a minimum 90 percent occupancy over the term of the contract.”
This guarantee isn’t difficult to rationalize when considering it from CCA’s point of view. They are paid by the government for each prisoner they house, so they want to house as many prisoners as possible in order to maximize their revenue.
But what if there aren’t enough prisoners to fill CCA’s quota? Private prisons have faced this dilemma before, and they’ve responded by buying prisoners through legislation, government infiltration and old-fashioned bribery. And in the not too distant future, these conditions may mean that the mass arrests of Occupy protesters could become a windfall for investors. Read the rest of this entry →
February 17, 2012 in Finance, Headline, Politics
As state governments wrestle with massive budget shortfalls, a Wall Street giant is offering a solution: cash in exchange for state property. Prisons, to be exact.
Corrections Corporation of America, the nation’s largest operator of for-profit prisons, has sent letters recently to 48 states offering to buy up their prisons as a remedy for “challenging corrections budgets.” In exchange, the company is asking for a 20-year management contract,
plus they want an assurance that the prison would remain at least 90 percent full,
according to a copy of the letter obtained by The Huffington Post.
The move reflects a significant shift in strategy for the private prison industry, which until now has expanded by building prisons of its own or managing state-controlled prisons. It also represents an unprecedented bid for more control of state prison systems.
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February 13, 2012 in Headline, Politics, Video Perspective, World News
We ask if the US should reconsider its ‘lock ‘em up and throw away the key’ approach to crime and punishment.
The US has the highest prison population in the world – some of whom have been subjected to lengthy sentences for relatively minor crimes. And that population has surged over the past three decades.
|“Prison has become the modern-day slavery. There is a whole cast of people in this country who have been convicted of crime and have what I call the mark of the beast. Once you have that conviction all your life’s chances are reduced.“- Larry White, a community advocate for Fortune Society
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February 6, 2012 in Finance, Headline, Politics, Video Perspective
James Nachtwey / VII
By Nile Bowie BLN Contributing Writer – from blacklistednews.com
For anyone paying attention, there is no shortage of issues that fundamentally challenge the underpinning moral infrastructure of American society and the values it claims to uphold. Under the conceptual illusion of liberty, few things are more sobering than the amount of Americans who will spend the rest of their lives in an isolated correctional facility – ostensibly, being corrected. The United States of America has long held the highest incarceration rate in the world, far surpassing any other nation. For every 100,000 Americans, 743 citizens sit behind bars. Presently, the prison population in America consists of more than six million people, a number exceeding the amount of prisoners held in the gulags of the former Soviet Union at any point in its history.
While miserable statistics illustrate some measure of the ongoing ethical calamity occurring in the detainment centers inside the land of the free, only a partial picture of the broader situation is painted. While the country faces an unprecedented economic and financial crisis, business is booming in other fields – namely, the private prison industry. Like any other business, these institutions are run for the purpose of turning a profit. State and federal prisons are contracted out to private companies who are paid a fixed amount to house each prisoner per day. Their profits result from spending the minimum amount of state or federal funds on each inmate, only to pocket the remaining capital. For the corrections conglomerates of America, prosperity depends on housing the maximum numbers of inmates for the longest potential time – as inexpensively as possible.