The private prison population has grown 353.7 percent in the past 15 years, according to a studyby the Justice Policy Institute. Major private prison companies have an incentive to encourage policies which keep that number on the rise.
“Steady increases in the number of people in private prisons, especially those coming from federally contracted beds, translate into increased revenues for private prison companies,” the report says.
“Since private prison companies are in the business to make money, policies that maintain or increase incarceration boost their revenues; from a business perspective, the economic and social costs of mass incarceration are ‘externalities’ that aren’t figured into their corporate bottom line,” it says.
Some of the biggest names in the private prison industry have given $835,514 to federal candidates since 2000 and a stunning $6,092,331 to state politicians in the last five elections cycles, according to data in the report.