How For-Profit Prison Corporations are Undermining Efforts to Treat and Rehabilitate Prisoners for Corporate Gain
American Friends Service Committee, in collaboration with Grassroots Leadership (Austin, TX) and the Southern Center for Human Rights (Atlanta, GA), released a groundbreaking report in November 2014 that exposes the ways in which for-profit prison corporations are adapting to historic reductions in prison populations by seeking out new markets previously served by non-profit behavioral health and treatment-oriented agencies.
“The Treatment Industrial Complex: How For-Profit Prison Corporations are Undermining Efforts to Treat and Rehabilitate Prisoners for Corporate Gain” highlights the expansion of the incarceration industry away from warehousing people and into areas that traditionally were focused on treatment and care of individuals involved in the criminal justice system--prison medical care, forensic mental hospitals, civil commitment centers, and ‘community corrections’ programs such as halfway houses and home arrest.
These developments pose a tremendous threat of unintended consequences for states seeking to reform their criminal sentencing practices. The greatest financial gains for incarceration companies are in residential settings that allow a company to charge a “per diem” rate. If the stated goal is simply to reduce prison populations, there is real danger that the result will simply be “prisons by another name.”