It’s popular to say that there’s “no place to hide” in the current economic crisis. There is one industry, however, that is riding high: the private prisons. CorpWatch reports that “Detaining immigrants has become a profitable business, and the niche industry is showing no signs of slowing down."
The company GEO Group Inc., for example, saw their annual income climb by $38 million in 2008, with $20 million of reportedly quarterly earnings in February of 2009. The company, which has contracts with federal immigration authorities to lock up undocumented immigrants and other federal inmates, has also been the target of various lawsuits and investigations. Inmates blame GEO Group for civil rights violations, inadequate and sometimes rotten food, overall neglect, and even death.
“The more we looked into the situation the more we realized it was a systemic problem,” Deborah Golden, an attorney with the DC Prisoners Project told CorpWatch. “I suspect that it’s a pattern all over. When you try to run prisons as money makers what you do is cut back on the most expensive thing you can, which is medication and medical care.”