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Why For-Profit Prisons House More Inmates Of Color

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Topic: Why For-Profit Prisons House More Inmates Of Color
Posted By: trudawg
Subject: Why For-Profit Prisons House More Inmates Of Color
Date Posted: Mar 14 2014 at 11:43am

Why For-Profit Prisons House More Inmates Of Color

by Rina Palta

A by a UC-Berkeley graduate student has surprised a number of experts in the criminology field. Its main finding: Private prisons are packed with young people of color.

The concept of racial disparities behind bars is not exactly a new one. Study after report after working group has found a version of the same conclusion. The Sentencing Project estimates , compared with 1 in 6 Latino men and 1 in 17 white men. are four times as high for black Americans as for white. Black in federal prisons than their white peers for the same crimes.

These reports and thousands of others have the cumulative effect of portraying a criminal justice system that disproportionately incarcerates black Americans and people of color in general.

An inmate walks through the yard at the North Central Correctional Institution in Marion, Ohio, which recently switched to private management.

An inmate walks through the yard at the North Central Correctional Institution in Marion, Ohio, which recently switched to private management.

Ty Wright/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sociology Ph.D. student Christopher Petrella's finding in "The Color of Corporate Corrections," however, tackles a different beast.

Beyond the historical overrepresentation of people of color in county jails and federal and state prisons, Petrella found, people of color "are further overrepresented in private prisons contracted by departments of correction in Arizona, California and Texas."

This would mean that the racial disparities in private prisons housing state inmates are even greater than in publicly run prisons. His paper sets out to explain why — a question that starts with race but that takes him down a surprising path.

Age, Race And Money

First, a bit of background. Private prisons house 128,195 inmates on behalf of the federal government and state governments (or at least they did as of 2010). There's a continual debate among legislators and administrators as to which is more cost-effective: running a government-operated prison, with its government workers (and unions); or hiring a private company (like GEO or Corrections Corp. of America) to house your prisoners for you. States like California, Arizona and Texas use a combination of both.

In the nine states Petrella examined, private facilities housed higher percentages of people of color than public facilities did. Looking back at the contracts the private companies signed with the states, Petrella figured out the reason behind the racial disparity: private prisons deliberately exclude people with high medical care costs from their contracts.

Younger, healthier inmates, he found — who've come into the system since the war on drugs went into effect — are disproportionately people of color. Older inmates, who generally come with a slew of health problems, skew more white.

Steve Owens, senior director of public affairs for Corrections Corp. of America, one of the largest private prison companies in the nation, calls the study "deeply flawed."

In an email, Owens says, "CCA's government partners determine which inmates are sent to our facilities; our company has no role in their selection."

Furthermore, he says, "the contracts we have with our government partners are mutually agreed upon, and as the customer, our government partners have significant leverage regarding provisions." It's up to the contracting agency, he says, to decide how it wants to distribute inmates and manage health care costs.

Owens does not, however, dispute Petrella's numbers.

Gloria Browne-Marshall, an associate professor of constitutional law at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a former civil rights attorney, says it's a "very interesting" study.

"What I take away from it is how prisoners are looked at as commodities," she says. "It's all about how the private prisons can make the most money."

Petrella says he used data compiled by state correctional departments, which are divided by census-designated categories and included African-Americans, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, nonwhite Hispanics and Latinos, and essentially anyone except those defined by the census as white.

"I know these categories are fungible, but this is the data we have to work with," Petrella says.

Browne-Marshall points out that Petrella's findings don't necessarily point to a racial motivation on behalf of private prison companies, and Petrella agrees. "Profit is the clear motivation," he says. The racial component is more incidental.

However, he says, "the study shows that policies that omit race continue to have negative impacts." He says there's a larger dialogue to be had about what contemporary racial discrimination actually looks like.

Barry Krisberg, director of the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, says the findings surprised him. "I had assumed private prisons were taking a lot of low-risk inmates," he says, "that if you went to a private prison, you'd find a lot of old, Anglo prisoners. That's not the case."

Prison Conditions

This raises questions about prison conditions for different kinds of prisoners. "The rate of violence is higher at private prisons, and recidivism is either worse or the same than in public prisons," says Alex Friedmann, the managing editor of Prison Legal News and the associate director of the Human Rights Defense Center, a group that opposes private prisons. Friedmann says part of the trouble is attributable to lower-paid, lesser-trained staff used in private prisons. But some of it, he adds, may be due to this higher-risk, younger population in private prisons.

So, Browne-Marshall asks, what are private prisons doing for their age-specific populations?

"Public prisons are devoting a lot of resources to the age-specific needs of their prisoners," she says, such as building medical facilities, bringing in highly paid medical staff, and providing expensive mental health care services. "What about the specific needs of the private prison population?"

Younger, higher-risk private prisoners need different kinds of services — especially since they're likely to get out of prison, back into society. And historically, younger prisoners are more likely to reoffend, which Browne-Marshall suggests addressing with education, drug counseling, anger management and other social services.

The trouble: While courts have intervened to require prisons to have good medical and mental health care as constitutional necessities — things that benefit older and sicker prisoners — programs that mainly benefit younger prisoners aren't usually required. (Another reason why they're cheaper to house.)

"How do we get corporations to do what the incarcerated person needs when the government's not dictating it?" Browne-Marshall asks.

That, she says, is the next question for study.

Owens says CCA offers "safe, secure housing and quality rehabilitation and re-entry programming at a cost savings to taxpayers. Our programming includes education, vocational, faith-based and substance abuse treatment opportunities." Each year, he says, CCA inmates acquire "more than 3,000" GEDs.


I wrote about this phenomenon in my blog

http://www.thecadillaclawyer.com/?p=208" rel="nofollow - http://www.thecadillaclawyer.com/?p=208




Replies:
Posted By: Over_all
Date Posted: Mar 14 2014 at 11:58am
I sat out some tickets one time and even county has more mexican and black people than white people.. I had always heard that it was more of us in jail than anyone but to see it is just discouraging


Posted By: Sang Froid
Date Posted: Mar 14 2014 at 11:59am
Blacks are better workers.
Stronger backs like mules. 


Posted By: melikey
Date Posted: Mar 14 2014 at 12:07pm
So basically proving the war on drugs the past 20-30 years was really just a war on minorities. The new Jim Crow.


Posted By: iliveforbhm
Date Posted: Mar 14 2014 at 12:15pm
This is old news. Negros are still slaves. Don't let them lie to you.


Posted By: melikey
Date Posted: Mar 14 2014 at 12:40pm
Originally posted by iliveforbhm iliveforbhm wrote:

This is old news. Negros are still slaves. Don't let them lie to you.


People still don't get it. They are more comfortable thinking that the current incarceration rates and de stabilization of black communities is due to bad parenting or other shiftless behavior. .smh


They are voting on de criminalizing weed in dc. They had to do a study, 1st to prove that weed smokers are proportionate amongst all races. 2nd looking at dc arrest records, they showed it was mostly blacks getting arrested. These convictions stay on their records when they are looking for jobs, so guess who gets screened out of the hiring process?
It is sad that obvious studies have to be done to prove points. . And only a small percentage of the time is anything ever done about it.


Posted By: trudawg
Date Posted: Mar 14 2014 at 12:52pm
Originally posted by melikey melikey wrote:

Originally posted by iliveforbhm iliveforbhm wrote:

This is old news. Negros are still slaves. Don't let them lie to you.


People still don't get it. They are more comfortable thinking that the current incarceration rates and de stabilization of black communities is due to bad parenting or other shiftless behavior. .smh


They are voting on de criminalizing weed in dc. They had to do a study, 1st to prove that weed smokers are proportionate amongst all races. 2nd looking at dc arrest records, they showed it was mostly blacks getting arrested. These convictions stay on their records when they are looking for jobs, so guess who gets screened out of the hiring process?
It is sad that obvious studies have to be done to prove points. . And only a small percentage of the time is anything ever done about it.


Good points!  . . .and in cases of possession with intent to distribute, it precludes you from ever being eligible for federal financial aid. This sh!t is by design!


Posted By: Alias_Avi
Date Posted: Mar 14 2014 at 1:12pm
After 40 years of impoverished black men getting prison time for selling weed, white men are planning to get rich doing the same things. So that’s why I think we have to start talking about reparations for the war on drugs. How do we repair the harms caused?  -

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/06/michelle-alexander-drug-war_n_4913901.html" rel="nofollow - Michelle Alexander



Posted By: Bored w/Out Me?
Date Posted: Mar 14 2014 at 1:21pm
Black Men need to wake up and stop making it easy for the yt man to use, abuse and enslave them...


Posted By: cvzx
Date Posted: Mar 14 2014 at 3:39pm
Originally posted by Bored w/Out Me? Bored w/Out Me? wrote:

Black Men need to wake up and stop making it easy for the yt man to use, abuse and enslave them...



agree... I'm ready for the new black Wallstreet. It's time to strengthen our legacies and generational wealth. I WILL SEE THAT DAY COME.


Posted By: kfoxx1998
Date Posted: Mar 14 2014 at 4:55pm
Thank you for bringing this up again TD.  I talked about the thread you did on this before in this thread below but I don't know if you were around.

http://forum.blackhairmedia.com/caste-system-the-war-on-drugs-the-new-jim-crow_topic336536_page1.html" rel="nofollow - http://forum.blackhairmedia.com/caste-system-the-war-on-drugs-the-new-jim-crow_topic336536_page1.html


I tried to put as many statistics in here as possible.  The first one tells the whole story. 

Originally posted by kfoxx1998 kfoxx1998 wrote:

The prison system is a $37,000,000,000 a YEAR industry



Posted By: trudawg
Date Posted: Mar 14 2014 at 6:41pm
I think the problem is so omnipresent that people feel like there is nothing they can do.
However, there is something you and everyone of us can do and it involves community activism, but more importantly money!

Politicians will not simply change the laws and reduce sentencing regulation because it's the right thing to do. They have to have an incentive in order to do so.  Yes, while the prison industry is a 37 billion dollar industry with the lobbying funds to match, African Americans combined net worth in America is over $2 Trillion dollars.
Until money is removed from politics, we need to play the game how they play it and lobby our elected officials to do what's right.
Take for instance, Jewish Americans, they have lobbying organizations that lobby law-makers on their behalf for a variety of issues including implementing polices that positively affect their community.
We need to do the same!!! I started a local political action committee in my state to help influence elections. Everyone who donates love the idea, but we need to be doing this on a national level!!


Posted By: trudawg
Date Posted: Mar 14 2014 at 7:07pm
Originally posted by Alias_Avi Alias_Avi wrote:

After 40 years of impoverished black men getting prison time for selling weed, white men are planning to get rich doing the same things. So that’s why I think we have to start talking about reparations for the war on drugs. How do we repair the harms caused?  -

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/06/michelle-alexander-drug-war_n_4913901.html" rel="nofollow - Michelle Alexander






Posted By: naturesgift
Date Posted: Mar 14 2014 at 8:19pm
The new American Slavery


Posted By: trudawg
Date Posted: Mar 15 2014 at 11:02am
Indeed!


Posted By: Alias_Avi
Date Posted: Mar 15 2014 at 11:13am
I'm gonna need for the average Black person to care more about this


I'm starting to think that a major negative event is the best thing that could happen to our complacent asses


Posted By: trudawg
Date Posted: Mar 15 2014 at 11:42am
Originally posted by Alias_Avi Alias_Avi wrote:

I'm gonna need for the average Black person to care more about this


I'm starting to think that a major negative event is the best thing that could happen to our complacent asses


I just don't understand the lack of outrage either! I addressed it above whereas I theorized that the overt feeling of helplessness causes most people in our community to turn a blind eye to it.


Posted By: Alias_Avi
Date Posted: Mar 15 2014 at 11:47am
I think a lot of Black people are a combination of desensitized, complacent and brainwashed into thinking they're a lot better off than we actually are


But I'm also thinking it has always been this way. Change has come by the hands of a few
It was true when Harriet Tubman said she could have saved more slaves had they known they were slaves, it was true during the Civil Rights Movement that was lead by only a select handful

It will be true for whatever comes ahead. I'm starting to truly understand that


Posted By: trudawg
Date Posted: Mar 15 2014 at 11:56am
I wish I could put together a traveling convention with city stops in which we gather all the conscious minds to develop strategies and action items that are truly carried out in a strategic manner. I attend small meetings/gatherings where we identify the problems and maybe even possible solutions but lack the resources to implement them.

I do believe there is a mass amount of black people who are just lost, or just don't give a phuck. However I also believe that rising tides will lift all boats. Meaning that if WE (those conscious enough to do something about it) do the heavy lifting, everyone will benefit.

We need cells in all major metropolises around the nation that are ready and able to act!


Posted By: Alias_Avi
Date Posted: Mar 15 2014 at 11:58am
Tru,

Do you work in the social work field? If you don't, you should.


I wish I could get a job working for a non-profit. I hope to one day be able to lend my talents and passion to helping my people full-time


Posted By: kfoxx1998
Date Posted: Mar 15 2014 at 12:04pm
We have to wake up our black "middle class".  They have been rocked to sleep.  They have been "recruited" into that thinking that says its the fault of the boys and men and their families.  The idea that if blacks would just do x then y would happen.  Niccahs been saying this sh*t for years in the hood and nobody wants to listen to them.  Nobody respects what they have to say about what is happening to them.  They feel it everyday.  Black men who survived being locked up and losing their family and credibility coming back out to work low paying jobs and get on their feet just in time to watch their sons live the same cycle.  Live it everyday and our own just look at them like STFU and do what the yt man wants you to do and he'll let you live good. 

I'm completely outraged and tired as fck.  I need Black people in America to revolt at a very high level.  I mean sh*t that will have white people having conferences and sh*t on how to get us to put our money back into the economy. 

When I say the American economy is not only built on but STILL running off of our backs people look at me like I'm crazy. 


Posted By: fckwitmeuknoigotit
Date Posted: Mar 15 2014 at 12:12pm
The end of the Reagan Era, I'm like number twelver
Old enough to understand the sh*t'll change forever
They declared the war on drugs like a war on terror
But it really did was let the police terrorize whoever
But mostly black boys, but they would call us "Brotha Mans"
And lay us on our belly, while they fingers on they triggers
They boots was on our head, they dogs was on our crotches
And they would beat us up if we had diamonds on our watches
And they would take our drugs and money, as they pick our pockets
I guess that that's the privilege of policing for some profit
But thanks to Reaganomics, prisons turned to profits
Cause free labor is the cornerstone of US economics
Cause slavery was abolished, unless you are in prison
You think I am bullsh*tting, then read the 13th Amendment
Involuntary servitude and slavery it prohibits
That's why they giving drug offenders time in double digits






http://rapgenius.com/806994/Killer-mike-reagan/Thats-why-they-giving-drug-offenders-time-in-double-digits" rel="nofollow -


Posted By: gemini1591
Date Posted: Mar 15 2014 at 12:20pm
It's really sad. Most black people have just given up or feel like it's not their problem cause it doesn't really affect them. I hate how some of us have been brainwashed into thinking we're somehow "different" or "not like the other ones".

The prison system is so pathetic. While some of these ppl have done extremely horrible crimes, a lot of them are being released back into the free world with even more limited opportunities than when they came in. There should be more programs to better assist with reentry but more importantly programs that can help with prevention.

I don't remember if I read it or saw it on tv but it was something that said back when jails and prisons were filled with mostly white men, they had a lot of programs to help them out. They had more freedom and even girlfriends could come for conjugal visits and they focused on rehabilitating them. When black men started to become the majority they started taking the programs away and giving prisoners less freedom


Posted By: trudawg
Date Posted: Mar 15 2014 at 12:28pm
Originally posted by Alias_Avi Alias_Avi wrote:

Tru,

Do you work in the social work field? If you don't, you should.


I wish I could get a job working for a non-profit. I hope to one day be able to lend my talents and passion to helping my people full-time


I am a lawyer, recently graduated and now pursuing a PhD in Justice Studies. My plan is to research and write about this in ways that will get EVERYONE's attention. I just feel like I need to have all my ducks (credentials) in a row before I can effectuate high-level change and be taken serious.
sh*t like this is the sole reason I went to law school. Before, I worked in the IT field, but simply got tired of not being able to help people. We MUST do something about this!!


Posted By: Alias_Avi
Date Posted: Mar 15 2014 at 12:37pm
That's awesome Tru


I wish I had the patience and focus to study law. My sister has a similar passion and she's graduating from her law school in 3 months

We talk about these issues all the time. I too wish I had like-minded people in my area I could link up with. Now that I think about it, my Black studies teachers at my old CC might be a good start

We really do have to do something in real time


Posted By: kfoxx1998
Date Posted: Mar 15 2014 at 1:37pm
@ James that's exactly what I'm saying.  Rap lyrics sound like somebody is just telling a story and yes some of those niccahs are fronting, never lived it but the underground does not lie!

@Trudawg I'm waiting for a black lawyer to take one of these cases to the Supreme Court and make American face her injustice.   I don't know if you got a chance to look at the thread I linked but this is my dream.  ( I messed up the link.  It should be: http://forum.blackhairmedia.com/caste-system-the-war-on-drugs-the-new-jim-crow_topic336536_page1.html" rel="nofollow - http://forum.blackhairmedia.com/caste-system-the-war-on-drugs-the-new-jim-crow_topic336536_page1.html   )

Doing this could be huge if you ever get in a position.

Originally posted by melikey melikey wrote:

Originally posted by kfoxx1998 kfoxx1998 wrote:

But the problem isn't the drugs, its the laws.  Laws designed the prey on drug use and distribution specifically in the black community.  Eliminating drugs from any community is as hard as eliminating drugs from the entire world.   Its a smokescreen.  The whole point is that America has and will continue to criminalize black 'living'.  This means that anything we do as a community while black could be used against us to incarcerate and kill us.  



this is the point.
during jim crow, they did the same with voting laws... blacks are poor because they were left with little more than farm jobs post slavery? OK poll tax. blacks were slaves 40 years ago? OK grandfather clause.

today it's blacks like crack? OK let's make the offense 100x that of the pure form.

in Philly the city can't make their own gun laws, the NRA heavily lobbies all levels of government and are perfectly fine with the captive audience they have in inner cities. The NRA is the reason the state of FL claims they didn't have a case against treyvon's murderer.

whites have consistently used unjust laws to make their immortality legal. Black people, when we've had successes they've been won through the legal process (both judiciary and legislative) . we need to go back to fighting fire with fire. we have so many great legal minds today, we just need some direction.


Originally posted by kfoxx1998 kfoxx1998 wrote:

Great Post Melikey.  We need one black lawyer to fight a drug charge all the way to the Supreme Court.  Call it unconstitutional because it is effectively slavery.  Really good idea!  I wonder if the author has ever thought of this.  I don't know if she takes cases anymore but I remember one young lady standing up at one of her lectures saying she was so overwhelmed with cases of you black people being arrested for minor offenses that she hardly ever had time to DO anything about it.  

More research needed on this strategy but I love it!








Posted By: kfoxx1998
Date Posted: Mar 15 2014 at 1:41pm
@ Trudawg I'm so happy and proud that you did thatClap.  You literally did what I wanted to do but didn't because I was already married with children and it seemed like a long road to take my family on.  I'm still stuck in ITLOL


Posted By: trudawg
Date Posted: Mar 15 2014 at 5:57pm
Thank you. It's been a long road, and my family (kids) have sacrificed however, I can only hope the by-product is me setting an example for hard-work and dedication.
 


. . . and it's never too late. I went to night-school part-time in the evenings BTW.



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