Nov 22, 2010
Recently, California prison officials signed a contract with GEO Group. GEO gets 60 million dollars a year to house 2,600 inmates at an empty correctional facility in Baldwin, Michigan.
California, with a total inmate population of 175,000 people, has the world’s largest prison system per capita. Today, more than one out of every hundred adults living in California is imprisoned. Last year, a Federal court found this prison system to be overcrowded and inhumane and ordered the state of California to reduce its prison population by 46,000 inmates within two years.
According to the court, a substantial number of non-violent inmates jailed for minor infractions could be released. But the state rejected this proposal. Instead, California is now signing contracts with private corporations like GEO that will turn a big profit out of such schemes.
Obviously contracts will be costly and many people will simply rot in prison.
But this is not a problem for political schemers. Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm welcomed the GEO contract with cynical joy. She wrote on her Facebook page that the contract means “450-plus new jobs will be coming to Lake County along with 60 million dollars in new investment.”
In other words, the future they prepare for us lies in prison, either behind or in front of bars, but nevertheless in prison.