CoT: definitely not going to bomb a plane

Prison doesn't work

* Released prisoners commit 54 times more violent crime within the first year of their release than average citizens do per year.
  * The number of crimes by the general public was 539 violent crimes per 100,000 population in 1984.1
  * The number of crimes committed by ex-prisoners within the first year of their release was 29,081 violent crimes per 100,000 released prisoners in 1984.2


i think we need some kinda space colony where we can send people who commit violent crimes.
Permalink Kenny 
January 20th, 2006
Or like, another continent.
Permalink Generic Error 
January 20th, 2006
Pay Per View Prison Yard Fights.
Permalink Yo! 
January 20th, 2006
Send them to Australia.

Punishment doesn't work. Prisons are simply the vehicle for punishment.
Permalink son of parnas 
January 20th, 2006
We don't know how to rehabilitate, so criminals learn how to do more crime and get thrown back in for longer and longer sentences. We use jails a money generating machines, so it all works out for some wealthy fatcat.

Nothing broke here.
Permalink sharkfish 
January 20th, 2006
how do jails generate money?
Permalink Kenny 
January 20th, 2006
Cheap license plate labor?
Permalink Generic Error 
January 20th, 2006
And they build furniture... quite a bit was built in Terre Haute, IN in the past.

I got my undergrad degree there... not the prison, Terre Haute.
Permalink KC 
January 20th, 2006
Jails are big business. There are a few corporations that build jails across the country. The jails themselves are a profit center.

Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and Correctional Services Corporation are billion dollar private jail companies.
Permalink sharkfish 
January 20th, 2006
My point is that it pays to have a lot of prisoners for these corporations so there simply is no incentive to do better.
Permalink sharkfish 
January 20th, 2006
"Jails are big business. There are a few corporations that build jails across the country. The jails themselves are a profit center."

This sounds like some bullshit "overheard at the gym" type thing. Running a prison is still extremely expensive, with the clothes, food, laundry, facilities, guards etc.. Those program usually just help offset the cost of prisons. The idea that people are put into prison to help wealthy fat cats is my new favorite conspiracy theory.
Permalink Phil 
January 20th, 2006
"This sounds like some bullshit "overheard at the gym" type thing. "

I stopped posting links to support my points when I realized most people here know about Google.

I actually first heard about this issue on 60 Minutes. I then read about how the incentives are bass ackwards. I give the point validity because no one has said these private prison corporations exist for society's sake.
Permalink sharkfish 
January 20th, 2006
Well I should specify that I know there are people that have tried to create For-Profit prisons, but these prisons do not represent the majority of prisoners and thus the "We use jails a money generating machines, so it all works out for some wealthy fatcat." is just a little overblown.
Permalink Phil 
January 20th, 2006
http://www.socialistaction.org/news/199912/prison.html

"Then there's the largest of them all-Corrections Corp. of America, headquartered in Nashville. According to Forbes magazine, CCA is among the nation's 100 fastest growing businesses and the top five performing companies on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares soared from $50 million in 1986 to $35 billion in October, 1997."

You are making this too easy, Phil.

First, Google, then debate.

You are probably a smart guy, but you are making me do all the work. If my point is bad/wrong/overblown, then post something about why, maybe find an article, or come up with a debate point using inference and logic.

I'm not the best debater here, and I easily trump you on these things. It isn't so much a game, but if you want to get anything out of arguing with a blip on the screen, put a little effort into it. Geez.
Permalink sharkfish 
January 20th, 2006
Yeah, the source of my link is questionably biased, but I am pretty sure the quote is correct.
Permalink sharkfish 
January 20th, 2006
shark, such things exist, but your original thesis was that the reason we send people to prison is to make fat cats rich. Most prisoners are not in these private prisons, and the idea that someone is sentanced to jail in a court of law to help some corporation's shareholders is ludicrous.
Permalink Phil 
January 20th, 2006
And from what I've read the way most of these private prisons make money is to bilk it from the government, not through prisoners producing goods and services.
Permalink Phil 
January 20th, 2006
"Most prisoners are not in these private prisons, and the idea that someone is sentanced to jail in a court of law to help some corporation's shareholders is ludicrous."

That you don't comprehend motivations is strange. I don't think someone is out there consciously doing that. I think that there are no motivators in place to improve the current jail system, particularly when there are potential profits to be made.

That's a far cry from the words you put into my mouth.

The prison business is growing. There aren't enough cells for prisoners. The private prison savior dressed as awhite knight comes in to save particularly bad prison situations. Problem fixed all solved no need to spend on rehab.

Private prisons don't need to be in the majority for this effect to take place. The fact that they are considered a possible solution that can be called upon is enough.
Permalink sharkfish 
January 20th, 2006
"not through prisoners producing goods and services."

I NEVER said that. I never even intimated that. You assumed that is what I meant for whatever "reason". Heh. That's so funny to me because you somehow have determined I have a simple-minded thought process. I do not. I do on occasion prevent my knee from jerking.
Permalink sharkfish 
January 20th, 2006
shark, that last point wasn't to refute you, it addressed KC and GE's statements above
Permalink Phil 
January 20th, 2006
"Private prisons don't need to be in the majority for this effect to take place. The fact that they are considered a possible solution that can be called upon is enough."

This point would only be valid if public prisons were generating more reformed prisoners then private prisons. Public prisons, which have no profit motivation are still churning out the same recurring fucked up criminals, so this notion of yours has absolutely no basis besides some left wing conspiracy theories.
Permalink Phil 
January 20th, 2006
>Public prisons, which have no profit motivation are still churning out the same recurring fucked up criminals, so this notion of yours has absolutely no basis besides some left wing conspiracy theories.

Private prisons turn out the same fucked up criminals. Except where they are able to cherry-pick their inmates. They don't reduce public expenses, they don't reduce criminals, they just wallow at the public trough.
Permalink Peter 
January 20th, 2006
America should do an exchange program ... we'll exchange 100 violent American prisoners for 10 Nigerian, Bangledeshi or Albanian immigrants. It would help the trade deficit.
Permalink Spinoza 
January 20th, 2006
Corporations profit off of prisons in two ways, by taking gov't subsidies, and then turning around and using the prisoners as super cheap labor.

If prison were not profitable it wouldn't be a growing industry, but it is. The proof is the fact that violent crime is at a low point, and yet more people then ever are being imprisoned (in the US).

We have 800,000 MORE people in prison than CHINA.

Google it, if ye doubt me.
Permalink B-Side 
January 20th, 2006
What they hey, here's a link:
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=1242491
Permalink B-Side 
January 20th, 2006
Look i'm not doubting that more people are going to prison or that we have too many people in prison. And i'm not arguing for or against a privatized prison system. I'm simply saying that judges and the police force are not trying to arrest, convict, and sentance more people so that prison corporations can earn more money. After all those prisons earn their money from the government, so more prisoners still equals more money.

I'm also saying that you are not showing me a difference between the quality of prisoner that comes out of a for-profit prison and a non-profit prison. If there is some study that shows that non-profit prisons are reforming prisoners at a noticably higher rate, then that is what we call evidence...you're just showing me other random facts.
Permalink Phil 
January 20th, 2006
You are looking at the symptoms, not the cause, Phil.

The reason people go to prison is because of laws. Laws come from congress. Congress is influenced by corporate lobbyists, who are hired by corporations, who exist solely to make a profit. You see the feedback mechanism at play?

Judges and the police merely enforce the laws, they don't factor in the creation of them.

Add in the profits that big tobacco and alcohol make by keeping other drugs illegal and you can follow the money. Plus the lunatic fringe groups like MADD only exacerbate the situation...
Permalink B-Side 
January 20th, 2006
Ok B-Side, but those same congressmen also have to deal with the reprocussions of higher crime rates in their cities. The private prisons systems have to deal with a performance record. If they are consistently churning out worse prisoners, then governments will switch back to public systems. You are looking at random made up conspiracy theories. There are plenty of people and corporations lobbying congress against crime as well. It is such a small industry overall, that it would make absolutely no sense to encourage worse criminals simply to get a few lobbying dollars...i can't even believe i'm still arguing against this, you guys come up with everything I swear.
Permalink Phil 
January 20th, 2006
What reprecussions? A high crime rate is the best thing for a politician, because then he can show he's "tough" on crime by having the police start cracking down on certain crimes. And can you please cite where prisons, private or public, have to "deal" with recidivism rates? I honestly haven't heard of such a program where prisons pay a penalty for re-internment.

And what's conspiratorial about the system I laid out? That there exist such entities as corporations, who use lobbyists, who influence congress?

Besides, how does one lobby against crime? Do you not agree that more laws make more criminals? I would argue that the loosening of the definition of "crime" is what makes more "criminals". As you increase the # of things you can't do, the more of us fall into that criminal category.

You are being quite dismissive in your arguments. Please clarify the above, I am honestly interested in alternate viewpoints, as long as they're somewhat well presented.
Permalink B-Side 
January 20th, 2006
It would be interesting to know how many of those parolees were first-time (for violence) offenders.

Prison works just fine, so long as you don't consider the objective to be rehabilitation.
Permalink I am Jack's harmonica hell 
January 20th, 2006
"A high crime rate is the best thing for a politician, because then he can show he's "tough" on crime by having the police start cracking down on certain crimes. "

Except that the people who would make the laws regarding the switch to private prisons are not that same people that control the police force (ie one is a congress person, the other is a mayor), and a rising crime rate is bad for any politician.

And the reason your point is being dismissed is simply because public prisons are still pumping out messed up criminals, and until you refute that basic point, your argument is flawed.

And finally, the private prisons are still funded by government dollars, and thus the lobbying would have to be awful big to justify using more state dollars that I could use on a pet project on these prisons.
Permalink Phil 
January 20th, 2006
> This sounds like some bullshit "overheard at the gym"
> type thing.

And this sounds like another generic know nothing refutation.
Permalink son of parnas 
January 20th, 2006
Bottom line: When you turn prison into a for-profit enterprise you have given some very powerful entities a very large incentive to increase the # of bad laws, which is the beginning of the cycle I described above, which is why you see criminal interment increasing at the same time violent, "real" crimes are decreasing.

That's why private for profit prisons are bad. Any time you give financial incentive for something, expect to see that something happen more often. That's just how the marketplace works.
Permalink B-Side 
January 20th, 2006
That only makes sense if the lawmakers got paid a cut per prisoner or per years in jail or something. Could it be a simpler explanation? We have not figured out a way to reform prisoners, and the "easiest" way lawmakers know to look tough on crime is to lock more people up and for longer. Everytime a prisoner gets out of a jail (public or private) and then goes and kills someone, the commmunity says "well why wasnt he in jail?!?!" So they increase the penalties. Again, your argument would make sense if there is some evidence that people are being locked up at higher rates in areas where private jails exist.

Your also missing the whole nature of business. Once prisons are privatized it becomes a competitive market. If Phil, Inc. prisons result in more reformed prisoners then Corrective, LTD. then I will be more likely to win the next state contract. Thats could be one of the positives, but like I said i'm not really arguing for or against privatized prisons right now, I just disagree with they "they are locking them away to help people get rich" theory.
Permalink Phil 
January 20th, 2006
Psst... I'll give you a buck to kick you in the nuts.

:)

Private prisons are very nasty, just happy for a Friday and having fun.
Permalink I am Jack's fun Friday 
January 20th, 2006
"Released prisoners commit 54 times more violent crime within the first year of their release than average citizens do per year."

*NEWSFLASH* Known criminals commit more crime than the average person.

Well, duh! What's the percentage of violent criminals in the population of released prisoners compared to that in the general population? Moron.
Permalink Andy 
January 20th, 2006
Actually, it's worse than that -- It's a count of "crime per release".

Career criminals get released from prison a lot more often than the general population and since they're career they WILL commit more crime...

Basically, it overcounts multiple offenders. That's why it's a statistic used by anti-prison campaigners (who usually don't have an actual better alternative to offer).

Statistically, locking people up does pay. Those career criminals who offend again are ones who will offend no matter what; unless locked up. Figures from the UK indicate that habitual criminals average something between 40 and at least 120 thousand pounds of crime each per annum, so locking them up for a year at 30 thousand a year is a definite saving.
Permalink Katie Lucas 
January 21st, 2006

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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