NJ’s Prison Industrial Complex

An article in today’s NYTimes points out,  

The conviction that private prisons save money helped drive more than 30 states to turn to them for housing inmates. “There’s a perception that the private sector is always going to do it more efficiently and less costly,” said Russ Van Vleet, a former co-director of the University of Utah Criminal Justice Center. “But there really isn’t much out there that says that’s correct.”

 

Private prisons pay staff less but the result is often more violence and inmate mistreatment. Private prisons also have a habit of only accepting healthier inmates and under-spending on those who are ill. more below…

While Christie was still Governor-Elect his Corrections Transition Committee issued a report urging substantial privatization. According to the Star Ledger, “One team member, Rutgers Professor Nancy Wolf quit the committee saying “unprofessionalism and bias compromised the quality.” She later expressed concern that some of the $61.5 million allocated to other operators should be diverted back to the state. One of the top advisors to Christie of course is William Palatucci, Senior Vice President of Community Education Centers (CEC), currently the main beneficiary of Corrections Department largesse.

In January according to the Asbury Park Press Monmouth County’s Board of Freeholders decided against privatizing the county prison after a task force concluded the move did not make financial sense.  Nonetheless, Christie’s administration continues to seek elusive savings through the Prison Industrial Complex while risking the health and well-being of people in its custody.  

Comments (3)

  1. huntsu

    or increases efficiency, then you need to think again.  Privatizing something may do that, but then again it may not.  It’s not a panacea, any more than having the government do something is.

    Think to the last time you had to call a for-profit technical support when you computer was fried, or had to navigate the “press 1 for oncology” list at your health insurer.  There is no efficiency for the user in these programs, only for the company looking to make a profit.  And the profit they take makes it just as costly as a public plan would.

    Can a private company do a better job of running a prison than the government?  Depends on the company, the managers, the prison, the inmates, the economy, the government oversight, etc., etc., etc., etc.  Can the government do a better job of running a prison than a private company?  Depends on the government, the managers, the prison, the inmates, the public oversight, etc., etc., etc., etc.

    And here we get — very late — to my point.  The right wing with it’s black/white view of the world always wants to privatize things, and that is the wrong way to think.  Until they are willing to consider non-doctrinaire solutions, they will continue to destroy our governments.

    Unfortunately, that appears to be what they want.

    Reply
  2. firstamend07

    A Privatization Battle is occurring right now.

    FYI. This is being passed around by a group that is fighting prison inmate education privatization.

    ——————————————–

     SPREAD THE WORD

    STOP THE CORRECTIONS DEPARTMENT FROM PRIVATIZING EDUCATION SERVICES !!!

    DOC Teacher Privatization is about eliminating a whole category of employees from State service. Influential people want State workers eliminated so they can pave the way for a “well positioned” ,for-profit company to take over ALL inmate education services within 24 months.

    The Wagner Pilot Privatization Program is a ruse! Read RFP # 2012-X-22048 and you quickly see that the contract ” can’t but help” the success of the for-profit company. THIS IS CMS REVISITED!!!

    This privatization is NOT about money. What money??? The DOC spends only about 1% of its budget on Correctional Educators salaries now! SO WHAT PERCENTAGE OF THE DOC BUDGET CAN ACTUALLY BE SAVED???

    This privatization is NOT about job performance. A private company can never match the expertise and success record of the current teaching staffs.

    This privatization is NOT about the teacher’s stellar safety and security record. Correctional Educators handle thousands of inmates each day .professionally and without incident. The average teacher has been working 15 years inside the prisons.

    THIS PRIVATIZATION IS BEING INITIATED BECAUSE CORRECTIONAL TEACHERS ARE AN EASY TARGET AND INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE WANT YOU GONE. YOU STAND IN THE WAY OF A PRIVATE COMPANY MAKING MONEY!

    THIS PRIVATIZATION IS PURELY POLITICAL!!

    As a citizen and taxpayer you have the right to contact your Legislators and your Union.

    —————————————

    THIS PRIVATIZATION FIGHT IS NOT BEING NOTICED AT ALL ( UNLIKE THE TOLL TAKERS), BUT THESE PEOPLE ARE ATTEMPTING TO SHOW THE LEGISLATORS AND THE PUBLIC HOW UNFAIR THIS ATTACK ON THEIR PROFESSION HAS BECOME.

    I have been told that some powerful people are behind this very quiet effort.    

    Reply

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