Thanks to For-Profit Prisons, Louisiana Has Triple the Incarceration Rate of Iran

Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Crime is down in Louisiana, but the state still holds the ignominious title of “the world’s prison capital.”
An exposé by the New Orleans Times-Picayune found that Louisiana incarcerates more people per capita than any other state or country in the world. One out of every 86 adults is behind bars, which is nearly double the U.S. average.
This means Louisiana’s prison rate is nearly three times higher than Iran’s, seven times more than China’s, and 10 times that of Germany.
For African-Americans from New Orleans, one in 14 is in prison, and one out of seven is either in prison, on parole, or on probation.
Overall, Louisiana’s prison population has doubled over the past 20 years.
“The hidden engine behind the state’s well-oiled prison machine is cold, hard cash,” wrote Cindy Chang at the Times-Picayune. “A majority of Louisiana inmates are housed in for-profit facilities, which must be supplied with a constant influx of human beings or a $182 million industry will go bankrupt.”
For-profit prison operators include several “homegrown” companies, as well as many of the state’s rural sheriffs, especially those in remote parishes like Madison, Avoyelles, East Carroll, and Concordia.
“A good portion of Louisiana law enforcement is financed with dollars legally skimmed off the top of prison operations,” Chang reported.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
To Learn More:
Louisiana is the World's Prison Capital (by Cindy Chang, New Orleans Times-Picayune)
Wanted: Criminals to Fill Empty Prisons (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
Private Prison Company to Demand 90% Occupancy (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)



Ted 12 years ago
i knew about the corruption of child protective services working like this. more bodies = more money. anyone with children is vulnerable to attack. if they take one child the threat to take the other is used for duress to keep you cooperating and thereby stripping you of all your rights. i have seen it myself here: we could easily cut the prison population to a fraction of what it is now. my father supported prohibition of alcohol until it passed and organized crime profited people like al capone rising to exploit the profitable black market. then like most other americans, he changed his position and prohibition was repealed. he told me drugs are not much different. though i abhor what they do to people, i now understand the rising criminal organizations here and across the border fed by our laws are far more destructive.
Len 12 years ago
the entire system of "justice" is a huge mess but creates and even bigger mess sociologically. psychology has the potential to change lives but so few are employed in prison systems to temper the tantrums of desperate individuals. but til we awaken to a government bent on tempering wealth thru a progressive taxation and finite lives for corporations we will never be in a position to nurture each other rather than exploit our own opportunities wherever we must go to achieve.

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