Welcome to Jail Inc: how private companies make money off U.S. prisons

ScreenHunter_2032 Jun. 16 16.14

Rupert Neate in The Guardian:

Getting locked up is unlikely to be good for your health but it’s “terrific, terrific” business for the booming private industry supplying doctors and nurses to jails and prisons. Many of those suppliers descended on Austin, Texas, last month to tout their services directly to jail administrators at the 35th annual American Jail Association conference.

As trade fairs go, this one is a little macabre. Companies line up to market everything from jumpsuits and meal trays to masks to stop prisoners from spitting, straitjackets and other full-body restraints. Once the national anthem had been observed and the AJA’s chaplain had led a prayer for jailers across the country, those gathered at Austin’s convention centre could get down to business: making money.

How long prisons will continue to be such money-spinners could depend on who wins the race for the White House. On the campaign trail Hillary Clinton has vowed to “end private prisons and private detention centers. They are wrong.” Donald Trump, on the other hand, has called for increased outsourcing of prisons. “I do think we can do a lot of privatizations, and private prisons it seems work a lot better,” he said in an MSNBC town hall earlier this month.

In the meantime, Ahmad Afzal and his two brothers are making a “very good living” manufacturing prison jumpsuits, underwear and suicide safety smocks in Pakistan and selling them to US jails.

More here. [Thanks to Anna Hall.]