California voters passed a groundbreaking ballot measure this month that reduces penalties and sentences for non-violent, “non-serious” crimes. Now, the private industry is responding to these changes in public attitudes and declining prison populations by opening up new lines of business.
A new report released by American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Grassroots Leadership, and the Southern Center for Human Rights highlights the expansion of the private prison industry into other profitable and growing areas in the criminal justice system: prison and jail subcontracted medical care; forensic mental hospitals and civil commitment centers; as well as “community corrections” programs such as probation and halfway houses.
The report authors have named this new expanded private corrections industry as the “treatment industrial complex” via the report.
As other states follow California’s lead and pass laws reducing mandatory minimum sentences, the report urges policy makers, advocates and others to ensure that private corporations can’t profit from any part of the criminal justice system.