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Government Run Prisons

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8/19/2016 6:35:32 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
The Justice Department has just announced that it will end the use of private prisons. The move comes after a political narrative has grown especially common on social media that for-profit prisons have resulted in an out of control incarceration rate. The narrative is completely false.

For one thing, private prisons house only 8.9% of the U.S. prison population. But more importantly, laws, sentencing, and the location of prisoners are determined by the government, not by the prison facility. As such incarceration rates are a factor of government policy, not private policy.

Also, the number of prisoners held in private facilities has only risen 1.9% since 2000, and has been falling since 2012. Indeed far more prisoners were sent to government facilities over that time, with a net increase of 121,315 prisoners versus a net increase of 39,682 in private facilities.

Finally it should be noted that the new policy only applies to federal facilities, and thus is limited to the 13 privately run prisons, housing a little more than 22,000 inmates comprising 1.4% of all American inmates. The issue of for-profit prisons is nothing more than a red herring.

If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand. - Friedman

Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. -Friedman

Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program. - Friedman

Society will never be free until the last Democrat is strangled with the entrails of the last Communist.