Prison Profiteers: Who Makes Money from Mass Incarceration

Prison Profiteers: Who Makes Money from Mass Incarceration


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In Prison Profiteers, co-editors Tara Herivel and Paul Wright "follow the money to an astonishing constellation of prison administrators and politicians working in collusion with private parties to maximize profits" (Publishers Weekly). From investment banks, guard unions, and the makers of Taser stun guns to health care providers, telephone companies, and the U.S. military (which relies heavily on prison labor), this network of perversely motivated interests has turned the imprisonment of one out of every 135 Americans into a lucrative business.

Called "an essential read for anyone who wants to understand what’s gone wrong with criminal justice in the United States" by ACLU National Prison Project director Elizabeth Alexander, this incisive and deftly researched volume shows how billions of tax dollars designated for the public good end up lining the pockets of those private enterprises dedicated to keeping prisons packed.

"An important analysis of a troubling social trend" (Booklist) that is sure to inform and outrage any concerned citizen, Prison Profiteers reframes the conversation by exposing those who stand to profit from the imprisonment of millions of Americans.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781595584540
Publisher: New Press, The
Publication date: 06/01/2009
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 525,017
Product dimensions: 5.52(w) x 8.22(h) x 0.91(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction Tara Herivel ix

Part I The Political Economy of Prisons

Banking on the Prison Boom Judith Greene 3

Million-Dollar Blocks: The Neighborhood Costs of America's Prison Boom Jennifer Gonnerman 27

Doing Borrowed Time: The High Cost of Backdoor Prison Finance Kevin Pranis 36

Making the "Bad Guy" Pay: Growing Use of Cost Shifting as an Economic Sanction Kirsten D. Levingston 52

Prisons, Politics, and the Census Gary Hunter Peter Wagner 80

Don't Build It Here: The Hype Versus the Reality of Prisons and Local Employment Clayton Mosher Gregory Hooks Peter B. Wood 90

The Cultural Commodification of Prisons Paul Wright 98

Part II The Private Prison Industry

Prison Labor Fuels American War Machine Ian Urbina 109

On the Inside with the American Correctional Association Silja J. A. Talvi 119

Jails for Jesus Samantha M. Shapiro 128

Florida's Private Prison Industry Corporation Under Siege David M. Reutter 141

Part III Making Out Like Bandits

Behind Closed Doors: Privatized Prisons for Youth Tara Herivel 157

Sick on the Inside: Correctional HMOs and the Coming Prison Plague Wil S. Hylton 179

Private Health Care in Jails Can Be a Death Sentence Paul von Zielbauer 204

The Riot Academy: Guards Stage Mock Prison Riots to Test the Latest High-Tech Gear Jennifer Gonnerman 228

Mapping the Prison Telephone Industry Steven J. Jackson 235

Shocked and Stunned: The Growing Use of Tasers Anne-Marie Cusac 250

For-Profit Transportation Companies: Taking Prisoners and the Public for a Ride Alex Friedmann 265

Author's Note 285

Acknowledgments 287

Contributors 289

About PLN 296

Notes 297

Permissions 324

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