By Rina Palta
A new report by the Justice Policy Institute (JPI) outlines how private prison companies have pushed punitive policies over the last few years–policies, the report says, aimed at increasing the demand for private prisons.
According to JPI, in 2009, there were about 129,000 people in private correctional facilities in the United States–a number that’s jumped 120 percent in federal and 33 percent in state facilities since 2000 . And while private prison companies ”may try to present themselves as just meeting existing demand for prison beds and responding to current market conditions, in fact they have worked hard over the past decade to create markets for their product.” A lucrative product: in 2010, revenues for the top two companies, Corrections Corporation of American and GEO group, exceeded $2.9 billion.
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