State officials will soon seek bids from private companies for 9 of the state’s 10 prison complexes that house roughly 40,000 inmates, including the 127 here on death row. It is the first effort by a state to put its entire prison system under private control.
Turning over the prison system to a for-profit company is akin to giving car keys to a drunken teenager - totally irresponsible.
Aside from the malfeasance that continues to surround the for-profit prison industry, there is the issue of the morality of making a profit from other people's misery. The state may think that it is saving money, but the evidence doesn't support this conclusion. Shifting death row into private hands also seems rather macabre. The state is abdicating its role the dispenser of punishment and handing it over to a group with profit as its motive. It would not occur to elected officials to reduce the prison population by reforming sentencing and investing in programs that minimize the likelihood of offenders returning to prison. Very irresponsible.
For a humorous take on this pending tragedy, take a look at this Colbert Report.