Privatize Our Prisons (PROP)
An Organization Devoted to Turning Our Prison System into a “Resource” Rather than a Liability
You’ve heard the ongoing complaints about America’s prisons:
· Billions of tax dollars each year to fund. Much of the money wasted or corrupted.
· Many are hell-holes - turning people from bad to worse … then throwing them back on the streets with little or no chance for employment or legitimate income - only to return to prison even worse than before.
· Many are so overcrowded that hard-core offenders are released before their sentences are served to make way for more prisoners.
· No community wants to be near them.
· What if prisons didn’t cost taxpayers a cent – but actually became a resource!
· What if prisons were not hell-holes at all – but model facilities.
· What if prisoners went from turning worse - to becoming “better” … to becoming productive … to becoming responsible!
· What if citizens welcomed prisons into their area because it was a boon to their economy!
· What if prisons had no overcrowding problems at all because the more prisons that were needed, the more that would be built – and by the private sector!
Sounds like a fairy tale … but think again! There is no good reason why we can’t turn our country’s prison population from a liability to a resource – and turn those prisoners from a life of crime into people who are responsible and productive.
So how do we do it?
We feel the answer is to privatize our prison system.
What do you mean by privatizing prisons?
Ending the government’s running of prisons. Allowing private sector firms to run them.
How can it work?
It would work by sending convicts into facilities completely run by private-sector firms where products would be manufactured or assembled and sold on the open market. The money made by the firms for their products would be used to make a profit for the firm, fund the prison operations, pay the prisoner for his labor, and help pay restitution to the victims of his crime.
Don’t we already have privatized prisons?
Not exactly … we have corporations like Wackenhut (www.wackenhut.com) and CCA (Corrections Corporation of America)(www.correctionscorp.com) that run some prisons in our country, but they’re still being subsidized by the government - meaning YOU the taxpayer. These places make goods that are actually purchased back by the government (YOU the taxpayer again!). They’re on a good track, perhaps, but that track is still tied to the taxpayers.
Wouldn’t the government be abdicating its responsibility?
No … the government (the court system) would still be supervising these prisoners … in fact private prisons would be monitored by our government just like every other private firm that does business with the government – of that you can be assured!
Wouldn’t the products being made or assembled by private prisons compete with other companies already making these products?
Good question! The answer is yes and no. Private prisons could manufacture or assemble basic goods (textiles or plastic parts, for example) no longer being made in the good old USA … goods that Americans no longer can produce because of cheaper labor costs in other countries. Prisoners would not be paid as much for their efforts as free working citizens (remember – they are not really free!) … that means their products could compete with those of other countries.
Aha! So these private companies would reap huge profits at the expense of the poor prisoners … turning their facilities into sweatshops and treating the prisoners like slaves!
Not with the government overseeing them. Prisoners are still going to be wards of the government. The government has both the right and the responsibility to make sure prisoners are not abused by the private prisons.
How much money should these prisons make?
Like any private company … as much as they can in the free market.
How much of it should go to prison upkeep? … how much to the prisoners themselves? … how much to the victims of the prisoners’ crimes?
Prison upkeep will always be a priority and the government will always be a monitor for that. Prisoners would be paid an hourly wage … with that wage going toward prison room and board … a nest egg for the prisoner upon his release … and to fund payment to any victims of his crime or crimes. That hourly wage would likely be regulated by our government.
Which prisons get which prisoners?
Once a person is convicted and sentenced … the court will have the obligation to determine where that person will serve his or her time. The court would base its decision on a number of factors – the crime itself, the ability of the prisoner to do certain kinds of work, the need by certain prisons for certain kinds of people, the request by the prisoner himself … there would be a lot of factors.
Aha! So there is room for payoff and corruption among judge, lawyer, and prison!
A lot less corruption than our present system! No system is perfect … human nature will always see to that. The idea is to fit the prisoner with the right prison based on the crime, the prisoner’s abilities, and the prisons’ needs.
What about all the government prison employees … what happens to them?
Prison employees will be needed for private prisons … in fact – even more so. There are not enough prisons and manpower to comfortably accommodate our prison population now … if enough prisons could be built – the first thing they will need are the people to run them.
But aren’t the prison workers’ unions against privatization?
Yes, they seem to be … they’re afraid they might somehow be squeezed out. But think about it … they would be just as necessary in the private sector. They would be negotiating with the private prisons directly, rather than with the government.
Aren’t there all kinds of unforseen problems and roadblocks along the way?
Of course there are! But we feel the concept of private prisons is a noble one. Nothing comes easy and – as they say – the journey of 10,000 miles begins with a single step.
Okay – so I’m interested! What do you want me to do?
We’d like you to join us. If enough people join and we can get enough publicity about our organization – that will be our first big step.
What will it cost me?
Nothing! We are doing this for principle, not for profit. All we ask is your encouragement, your enthusiasm, and – hopefully – your help in spreading the word. For now – you can sign our Guest Book as your way of registering. You are also welcome to give us your thoughts. We plan on putting our PROP website on as many search engines as we can.
Who are you?
My name is Paul Molloy and I’m just an ordinary working stiff. I’ve been talking-up private prisons for the past eight years … including personal meetings with two state congressmen, one U.S. congressman, and one U.S. senator.