Our broken prison system doesn't serve anyone except the people making money on it. And they are making a lot of money.
Being "tough on crime" doesn't mean putting people in prison forever. It means taking truly effective steps to reduce how often the law is broken.
Locking people up may make our streets safer temporarily, but if we don't rehabilitate them before their sentences end, we just end up spending more tax dollars on pushing them through the system all over again when they commit another crime.
Just in case you missed some of the biggest shockers:
- A review of 62 contracts for state and federal prisons found that two-thirds of them required the government to keep the the prison 80-100% full.
- 65% of private-prison contracts require the government to pay a fee if the prison is not "full enough."
- The federal government spends over $50 billion every year to keep the prison system running.
- In 2012, $3.3 billion of that money went to GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of America, the two biggest for-profit prison companies.