From the window, they stare at their noses.
Private Prison Profits Skyrocket, as Executives Assure Investors of ‘Growing Offender Population’
by Nicole Flatow for ThinkProgress.org
A major U.S. private prison operator known for inmate abuse, violations, and disregard for the truth reported a 56-percent spike in profit in the first quarter of 2013, due in part to its new strategy for drastically reducing its taxes, the Associated Press reports. During a conference call touting its success, representatives at GEO Group boasted that the company continues to have “solid occupancy rates in mid to high 90s” and that they are optimistic “regarding the outlook for the industry,” in part due to a “growing offender population.” GEO Senior Vice President John Hurley assured investors during the call:
We have a longstanding partnership with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the United States Marshal Service and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE. … We continue to see meaningful opportunities for us to partner with all three of these federal agencies, notwithstanding the various issues with the federal budget, which we believe will have no material negative impact on our business. The federal bureau of prisons continues to face capacity constraints coupled with a growing offender population.
The federal prison population has swelled 790 percent since 1980, in large part due to draconian drug and immigration laws. And the United States maintains the title of the world’s number one jailer. Private prison operators nonetheless remain enthusiastic about the prospects of high incarceration rates for business. Representatives on this call shied away from the strong language fellow prison firm Corrections Corporation of America used during its investor call in February, when CEO Damon Hininger assured a strong “continued demand for beds” even after immigration reform. GEO executives explained that they are now taking the position that “discussing our approach and strategies about any particular procurement is really not in the best interest of our company or our shareholders.”
Following a trend of corporations achieving dramatic tax reductions by becoming a real estate investment trust (REIT) – a mechanism historically reserved for firms holding real estate as an investment — both GEO and fellow prison operator Corrections Corporation of America successfully persuaded the Internal Revenue Service recently that they are essentially holding real estate, analogizing prisoners to renters paid for by the government. In reality, the job of running a prison is only nominally about the facility where it’s housed, and primarily about ensuring humane prisoner treatment, inmate rehabilitation, and public safety. But private prison corporations charging “rent” to house prisoners make no more or less money depending on whether they achieve these goals, particularly not when immense political spending to lobby for incarceration and privatization outweighs the public pressure from widely reported abuses at private facilities.
- Cop denies woman in custody of her phone call. Handcuffs her, turns off camera in room. When camera is turned on again, handcuffed woman is on floor in a pool of her own blood.
- Cops Shoot Pregnant Woman in Face After She Calls 911 For Help
- Florida man flees seatbelt stop on foot, cop runs him over and kills him
- Watch this video of what looks like a mugging. It’s actually a group of eight plain-clothes state troopers suddenly jumping a couple of teenagers who were waiting to be picked up by their parents. The troopers are naturally being cleared of any wrong-doing.
- Rochester, NY Police officers Assault Disabled Man in Motorized Wheelchair
- Austin cop shoots first at unarmed man during traffic stop, asks questions later
- Cops tase non-resisting man in neck
- Diabetic High School Girl Beaten by Police Officer and Arrested — For Falling Asleep in Class
- School police beats up kid for having his shirt untucked.
- Rio de Janeiro police helicopter shoots up slums during chase of drug dealer [VIDEO].
- Gay man brutally thrown to the ground during Sydney’s Mardi Gras Gay and Lesbian street festival.
- Cop parks his motorcycle on sidewalk to buy coffee, something the rest of us would have no doubt gotten in trouble for. 12-year-old asks cop why he did so and for his badge number. Cop refuses and instead begins to bully the kid, throwing around charges of loitering.
- “A three-month Sun Sentinel investigation found almost 800 cops from a dozen agencies driving 90 to 130 mph on our highways. Many weren’t even on duty — they were commuting to and from work in their take-home patrol cars.”
- Canadian cop threatens to beat up handcuffed man and plant cocaine on him [VIDEO]
- Mississippi Cop Leaves K-9 Locked in Car Overnight, Dog Dies, Cop Reassigned to Other Duties
- North Carolina Rapper Busted For Possession … Of An AriZona Iced Tea. Watch as the plain-clothes individual fails to show any sort of identification.
- Just as the California cops shot up a pick-up truck of innocent women during the Christopher Dorner manhunt a few months ago, cops in Boston shot up a police SUV during their post-bombing manhunt.
- Speaking of those women who were shot at during the Dorner manhunt: after receiving a replacement truck, they are now to receive a $4.2 million dollar settlement from the city. So when the cops make mistakes, the taxpayers are the lucky ones to pay the consequences. Of course, the actual shooters should be behind bars and facing attempted murder charges. Instead, they are not even getting fired.
- And speaking of taxpayers paying for cop misconduct: Man wins settlement from city after cop invents fake lab report linking his DNA to scene of alleged sexual assault
- Cop incorrectly reads truck driver’s log book as having driven too many consecutive hours. Cop issues ticket. Truck driver wants to read the ticket before signing, so: “the truck driver suffered life-threatening injuries including a crushed left orbital eye socket, multiple facial fractures, a broken left arm, a concussion, unconsciousness and possible neurological damage. Medical records also show that he apparently stopped breathing while lying out on the highway and had to be rushed to Auburn Faith Hospital.”
- K-9 Police Officer Admits Planting Drugs on Random Vehicles To Train Dogs
- Handcuffed 17-year-old flees police custody into subway. NYPD response? Close off four subway lines, cut off power, and trap thousands while they search.
- Why Cops Bust Down Doors of Medical Pot Growers, But Ignore Men Who Keep Naked Girls on Leashes
- NYPD Sergeant Says ‘Guilty Until Proven Innocent’ Is Just The Price We Pay For A ‘Free Society’