Are Corporate Profits Expanding Prisons?

by Bill Bolton

AJC Article about Buying a Bid

The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, September 04, 2006, "Prisons may lock in 1 vendor" , by Carlos Campos, is a very good article about possible bid fixing for the purchase of sundries for our Georgia prisons. This is about 2% of the total cost of our prison operations. A company from St. Louis is providing consolidated bid to replace a piecemeal bidding process from Georgia companies.

Could Corporations Encourage Crimes?

Through an indirect conspiracy, corporations may unknowingly and legally encourage crime so the prisons are larger. An indirect conspiracy usually is associated with suspicious money flows, in spite of being legal.

An example of an indirect conspiracy is what was happening in the case of U.S. 1954 Brown v. Board of Education. Prior to this case, the whites were legally not providing appropriate funds for black education. This case criminalized the doctrine of "Separate but Equal".

Applying an indirect conspiracy to the prison system, corporations legally pay politicians for expanded business. All is legal, but the end results is that prisons keep growing as we have seen. Granted, there is no smoking gun.

The bidding smells of Republicans, But

Former Georgia Attorney General Michael Bowers, a Republican, is in the law firm that represents the corporate company that is trying to win the bid for the suppliers of sundries. No real proof of a Republican connection, yet. However, invariably the Democrats are at the trough also. All politicians need money to win.

Fearing One Corporation owning all Prisons

As with the consolidation of sundry suppliers, I fear that eventually one corporation will own all prisons in Georgia. Such a corporation would expand its business by obtaining more prisoners via the legislature. This same thing can be done by having the legislature extend prison sentences, which is what has been happening for the last 15 years.


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