[ View the story "Incarceration, Inc." on Storify] Incarceration, Inc. We look at the America’s Prison-Industrial Complex.
Storified by The Stream · Thu, Apr 05 2012 12:35:58
Right-wing conservative and television evangelist Pat Robertson surprised many when he voiced his support for marijuana decriminalisation. In this video, he says America's criminal codes and its "War on Drugs" campaign is costly and imprisoning too many people.
He says: "We here in America make up 5 per cent of the world's population, but we make up 25 per cent of jailed prisoners.... We have now over 3,000 - the number must be might higher than that - but over 3,000 federal crimes, and every time the liberals pass a bill - I don't care what it involves - they stick criminal sanctions on it. They don't feel there is any way people are going to keep a law unless they can put them in jail... So we have the jails filled with people who are white collar criminals... I just think it's shocking how many of these young people wind up in prison and they get turned into hardcore criminals because they have posession of a very small amount of a controlled substance. I mean the whole thing is crazy! "
Pat Robertson Cut.movbcatdc
This infographic shows the US incarceration rate is far higher than its European counterparts. America imprisons approximately 760 per 100,000 people. This is the highest rate in the world and no other country comes close.
from The Sentencing Project shows the dramatic increase in the private prison industry from 1999 to 2010.
This graph gives the breakdown in the types of criminals held at private prison facilities in 2012.
Private state prisons have outnumbered private federal prisons for the past decade, and continue to do so.
from the Sentencing Project shows the incarceration statistics in the state of California.
Business executive Meg Whitman describes how expensive it is to house a prisoner in California, costing nearly $50,000 per prisoner per year. She also addresses the problem of overcrowding, which prompts the state to send prisoners into neighboring states’ prisons.
Meg Whitman on the California prison systemoletoday
The US makes up 5 per cent of the world's population but has 25 per cent of the prison population. This infographic also gives the domestic demographics of those who are incarcerated.
This infographic shows how US incarceration rates measure up to the rest of the world.
The Corrections Corporation of America is one of the largest private prison companies in the US. This graph shows the funds spent on federal lobbying over the past decade.
The CCA has gained more lobbying power in recent years.
This graph shows the increasing share price of the CCA. The private prison industry is considered to be a billion dollar business.
According to the
US Bureau of Justice Statistics, the number of private prisons in theUnited States in 2010 stood at 128,195 (or 8%) of the 1.6 million state andfederal prisoners in the United States. Between 1999-2010 the number ofindividuals held in private prisons grew by 80%, compared to an 18% rise in theoverall prison population. The number of federalprisoners held in private prisons rose from 3,828 to 33,830 (an increase of784%).
This graph shows the increasing number of people in correctional supervision over the past three decades.
This video explains how private prison companies profit off of the private prison industry, often from the US' anti-immigration laws.
Immigrants For Salebravenewfoundation
shows a positive correlation between states with large numbers of minorities and undocumented workers and the number of private prisons.
This graph shows how the number of people held in immigration detention has exploded since the late 1990s. On any given day, ICE detains over 33,000 immigrants, which is more than triple the number of people detained in 1996. In the last 5 years alone, the annual number of immigrants detained and the costs of detaining them has doubled. In 2009, 383,524 immigrants were detained, costing taxpayers $1.7 billion at an average of $122 a day per bed. Nearly 2.5 million individuals have passed through immigration detention facilities since 2003.
In this video, Mumia Abu-Jamal, one of the best known death row prisoners in the world, talks about the negative effects of the prison-industrial complex.
Mumia Abu-Jamal interview on prisonssuzynycpvn
This video clip from "American Drug War: The Last White Hope," gives perspectives from prison officials and advocates against the prison-industrial complex.
Prison Industrial Complexrandy7845
This is an illustration of the prison-industrial complex.
This satirical cartoon shows how the prison-industrial complex feeds off the the failing public education system.
This illustration depicts how the prison industry promotes a cycle of homelessness, unemployment, and poverty.