In the USA the word “jail” means a place for people with a sentence of one year or less, and usually has people convicted of misdemeanors. “Prison” (or “penitentiary”) means a place for people with a sentence of one year or more. Prisons usually holds people convicted of felonies.
The city where I live is about to become the first city in my state to have a privately owned jail.
The owner will be Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) which is so criminal and corrupt that it must regularly change its name. Currently it is known as “CoreCivic.”
(Another example of this is Blackwater, which consists of private death squads contracted by the CIA. Blackwater changed its name to XE Services, and then to Academi. A Blackwater death squad murdered 14 Iraqi civilians in Nisour Square in Baghdad. Blackwater also provided bodyguards to Paul Bremer, who oversaw the theft of 12 billion U.S. dollars that were flown to Iraq after the invasion. Every two weeks, a C-130 aircraft flew from New York to Baghdad to deliver pallets of shrink-wrapped dollars that weighed a total of 363 tons. One flight on 22 June 2004 had 2.4 billion dollars. No one knows who stole the $12 billion, and Bremer was never charged with any crime. Twelve BILLION dollars.)
(INCIDENTALLY the U.S. government intended that $12 billion to be used for boosting the Iraqi economy. Meanwhile back in the USA, politicians claim that the way to boost the U.S. economy is to REMOVE dollars via austerity.)
So now my city will have a privately owned and operated jail. The rationale, as always, is that private ownership will “save money” for the city. The reality is that private ownership will be far more expensive for the city, since the owners seek to continually increase their profits via ever-higher fees and ever-shrinking services.
There are no exceptions to this rule. None. Never.
I have not had a chance to read the contract that my city will sign with Corrections Corporation, but such contracts always include guarantees that the local government will keep the privately owned jail (or prison) constantly full. This means that more and more people will be jailed for misdemeanors like J-walking. It also means that inmates will be treated like animals, and will be charged high fees for everything from toothbrushes to toilet paper. Inmates will be fed garbage, since private companies seek to constantly reduce their costs in order to constantly boost profits. Corrections Corporation will also treat its guards like dirt. Inmate deaths and suicides will explode in number, as will inmate lawsuits against the city.
Let me repeat that. When a privately owned jail commits offenses, and inmates file lawsuits, the party that pays is not the offending company, but local taxpayers. This is one reason why privatization never saves money for taxpayers. Quite the opposite. The Indianapolis Star reporta that Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett plans to cancel a long-standing private jail contract with Corrections Corporation in hopes of saving the city millions of dollars.
The city council in my own town voted 4-to-2 to privatize the city jail, which means that four council members were stupid, or else they were bribed by Corrections Corporation. The city mayor is also stupid (or was bribed), since he too voted to sell out to Corrections Corporation.
Two months ago my city announced that it was planning to privatize its jail operations. Hundreds of city residents e-mailed city council members asking them not to do it. Yesterday when the vote was taken, protesters filled the city council chamber. All their pleas were ignored. Bribes speak louder than people.
Privatized prisons cause things like the “kids for cash” episode in which the owner of a privatized juvenile correction facility continually paid two judges to give maximum possible jail sentences for kids, in order to keep the jail facility full. Vast numbers of kids were jailed for trivial offenses — or for no offenses at all. (This was only a “scandal” because the victims were kids. When the victims are adults, the scam is simply “business.”)
Private prison companies are organized into Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) so they don’t have to pay city, county, state, or federal taxes.
Speaking of privatization, Trump will soon explain his plan to hand over most of America’s infrastructure to his rich cronies. Airports, bridges, highway rest stops, and other facilities will become privately owned, so that the gap between the rich and the rest can be dramatically widened.
Trump refers to this theft as “modernization.” His scam calls for creating $200 billion out of thin air, and using it to offer bribes to state, county, or municipal governments that surrender their public facilities to the rich. Australia started doing this in 2014, and calls the theft “asset recycling.”
In addition to bribes, Trump will use threats, which he calls “leverage.” For example, he will threaten to impose a tax increase on gasoline, in order to force state, county, and municipal governments to hand over their public assets. The federal tax on gasoline is now at 18.4 cents per gallon. Trump will tell the nation, “The gas tax has not been raised since 1993, and the U.S. government needs that revenue!” Trump will also threaten to impose Internet sales taxes if the peasants do not comply.
The national privatization scam is being drawn up by Trump cronies like Gary Cohn, a Goldman Sachs investment banker (and militant Zionist). Also overseeing the theft is billionaire developer Richard LeFrak.
High on the list of things they want privatized are airports and air traffic control systems. When these are run for profit, air travel will become very dangerous, while monetary costs for average people will skyrocket. Public highways will become toll roads, thereby increasing the costs of everything. Rural and distressed communities will die. National parks will be handed to the rich, and will be renamed for their new owners. And of course none of the new owners will have to pay any taxes on their new profits. Trump has already said this.
Trump will say that America’s infrastructure is falling apart, and can only be saved via privatization. And he will get away with this lie, because most people refuse to acknowledge what they already know: that the U.S. government can “print” as many dollars as it likes out of thin air. The masses will rationalize their stupidity and their poverty, telling themselves that public enslavement is “public improvement.”
Billionaire developer Ricard LeFrak says the masses will become “socialized” to paying tolls. LeFrak says the U.S. government should borrow large sums at today’s low interest rates (even though the U.S. government does not borrow its spending money, since the government creates money out of thin air.)
CHANGE OF TOPIC
The Counterpunch article above falsely blames Germany and the Troika for Greece’s economic depression, which is now the longest and the worst in world history.
The actual reason for the Greek depression is that  Greece has a trade deficit, which means that Greece has no net money coming in from outside and  the Greek government cannot create its own money out of thin air.
As a result the Greek government must borrow all its money. Therefore Greece has an ever-expanding debt load. Therefore average Greeks will continue to have more and more poverty and austerity forever.
Greece could end this nightmare by dumping the euro and going back to the drachma, but Greek politicians refuse to do that, since Greek politicians are on the bankers’ payroll. Therefore the blame for the Greek nightmare lies not with Germany and the Troika, but with Greek politicians, and with average Greeks who refuse to see this.
It is human nature to live in denial. Since we don’t like to admit that we are stupid and selfish, we claim to be innocent victims of others.
There are some groups in Europe that understand these truths. That is why they are called “evil.”