In Mr.Bean, the Villain from France, would propose, among other things, to create an open prison of the world in the UK , to house all Criminals of the
I thought it was really funny befitting a French Man’s dig at Englishman.
But how misinformed am I?
United Kingdom was the first country in all of Europe to use prisons run by the private sector to hold its prisoners.
Wolds Prison opened as the first privately managed prison in the UK in 1992., as one of a number of prisons built by the public sector but contracted to the private sector to operate under 5 year contracts.
Soon private prisons were established under the government’s Private Finance Initiative, where contracts are awarded for the entire design, construction, management and finance of a prison under 25 year contracts.
Later, Government attempted to ‘market test’ prisons operated by the public sector, though no prison transferred from public to private operation through this route until Birmingham in 2011.
Prisons operated by the private sector are subject to re-competition at the end of the contract, when the public sector may bid, and on 3 occasions has done so successfully.
Privately run prisons are run under contracts which set out the standards that must be met.
There are now 14 prisons in England and Wales operated under contract by private companies.
Between them they have the capacity to hold about 13,500 prisoners or approximately 11% of the entire prison population.
Kalyx, and prior to that UKDS) (4) and Serco (6)
Prison Industry In US.
There are approximately 2 million inmates in state, federal and private prisons throughout the country.
According to California Prison Focus, “no other society in human history has imprisoned so many of its own citizens.
” The figures show that the United States has locked up more people than any other country: a half million more than China, which has a population five times greater than the U.S. Statistics reveal that the United States holds 25% of the world’s prison population, but only 5% of the world’s people.
From less than 300,000 inmates in 1972, the jail population grew to 2 million by the year 2000. In 1990 it was one million.
Ten years ago there were only five private prisons in the country, with a population of 2,000 inmates; now, there are 100, with 62,000 inmates.
It is expected that by the coming decade, the number will hit 360,000, according to reports.
“The private contracting of prisoners for work fosters incentives to lock people up.
Prisons depend on this income. Corporate stockholders who make money off prisoners’ work lobby for longer sentences, in order to expand their
workforce. The system feeds itself,” says a study by the Progressive Labor Party, which accuses the prison industry of being “an imitation of Nazi Germany with respect to forced slave labor and concentration camps.”
The prison industry complex is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States and its investors are on Wall Street
. “This multimillion-dollar industry has its own trade exhibitions, conventions, websites, and mail-order/Internet catalogs. It also has direct advertising campaigns, architecture companies, construction companies, investment houses on Wall Street, plumbing supply companies, food supply companies, armed security, and padded cells in a large variety of colors.”
According to the Left Business Observer, the federal prison industry produces 100% of all military helmets, ammunition belts, bullet-proof vests, ID tags, shirts, pants, tents, bags, and canteens. Along with war supplies, prison workers supply 98% of the entire market for equipment assembly services; 93% of paints and paintbrushes; 92% of stove assembly; 46% of body armor; 36% of home appliances; 30% of headphones/microphones/speakers; and 21% of office furniture. Airplane parts, medical supplies, and much more: prisoners are even raising seeing-eye dogs for blind people.
HISTORY OF PRISON LABOR IN THE UNITED STATES
Prison labor has its roots in slavery. After the 1861-1865 Civil War, a system of “hiring out prisoners” was introduced in order to continue the slavery tradition. Freed slaves were charged with not carrying out their sharecropping commitments (cultivating someone else’s land in exchange for part of the harvest) or petty thievery – which were almost never proven – and were then “hired out” for cotton picking, working in mines and building railroads. From 1870 until 1910 in the state of Georgia, 88% of hired-out convicts were Black. In Alabama, 93% of “hired-out” miners were Black. In Mississippi, a huge prison farm similar to the old slave plantations replaced the system of hiring out convicts. The notorious Parchman plantation existed until 1972.
During the post-Civil War period, Jim Crow racial segregation laws were imposed on every state, with legal segregation in schools, housing, marriages and many other aspects of daily life. “Today, a new set of markedly racist laws is imposing slave labor and sweatshops on the criminal justice system, now known as the prison industry complex,” comments the Left Business Observer.
Who is investing?
At least 37 states have legalized the contracting of prison labor by private corporations that mount their operations inside state prisons.
The list of such companies contains the cream of U.S. corporate society:
IBM, Boeing, Motorola, Microsoft, AT&T, Wireless, Texas Instrument, Dell, Compaq, Honeywell, Hewlett-Packard, Nortel, Lucent Technologies, 3Com, Intel, Northern Telecom, TWA, Nordstrom’s, Revlon, Macy’s, Pierre Cardin, Target Stores, and many more.
All of these businesses are excited about the economic boom generation by prison labor. Just between 1980 and 1994, profits went up from $392 million to $1.31 billion.
Inmates in state penitentiaries generally receive the minimum wage for their work, but not all; in Colorado, they get about $2 per hour, well under the minimum.
And in privately-run prisons, they receive as little as 17 cents per hour for a maximum of six hours a day, the equivalent of $20 per month. The highest-paying private prison is CCA in Tennessee, where prisoners receive 50 cents per hour for what they call “highly skilled positions.
” At those rates, it is no surprise that inmates find the pay in federal prisons to be very generous.
There, they can earn $1.25 an hour and work eight hours a day, and sometimes overtime. They can send home $200-$300 per month.
Thanks to prison labor, the United States is once again an attractive location for investment in work that was designed for Third World labor markets
. A company that operated a maquiladora (assembly plant in Mexico near the border) closed down its operations there and relocated to San Quentin State Prison in California.
In Texas, a factory fired its 150 workers and contracted the services of prisoner-workers from the private Lockhart Texas prison, where circuit boards are assembled for companies like IBM and Compaq.
There is a move to bring in Private Prisons in India and if my source is to be believed a Single judge Committee has recommended Private Prisons.
There are some pretty big Business Houses promoting this concept and have their sources to manipulate the Media to high light the cost of running the
Prisons(for the Government and to sensationalize law and Order situation in India , including the prisons.