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October 15, 2007 01:19 AM UTC

This week on "60 Minutes" CO.Rep. Buffie McFadyen on private prisons and Supermax

  • 3 Comments
  • by: wade norris

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to interview Rep. Buffie McFadyen and discuss the issues with the privatization of prisons and issues with the “Supermax” prison (home of Moussoui, Ted Kascinski, Eric Rudolph and the other most dangerous terrorists in the world.)
Tonight on 10/14/07 Rep. McFadyen will be on “60 Minutes” discussing these issues. This interview also gets at the heart of the problem of privatization and for profit motives.

The issue that Rep. McFadyen is the most opposed, is the privatization of the prison industry. This has lead to longer sentences, mandatory sentencing, and the ludicrous repeal of the right of judicial review by the judge on hearing the case. This is why the prison population has continued to grow throughout the 90’s and through today.

Some of the best quotes:
On lobbyists for the private prison industry –

They (the for profit prison lobbyists) have the money to wine and dine Congress, to ensure that we maintain mandatory sentencing. There is a high correlation between the invention of mandatory sentencing and the invention of the private prison industry.
Question
So the lobbyists are actually trying to get longer mandatory sentences instead of sensible laws, which is why more non-violent offenders are being incarcerated?

Exactly.
If you have a stock held company, as a CEO, your job is to make money, therefore, you need a constant return of bodies in the cells to ensure profit.
At any Federal hearing on reduction of sentences or giving judges discretion on sentences, and you will see the private prisons lobbyists there.
I have heard the statement that there are more African American males in prisons than in college in the United States.
If you have a moral compass, I hope everyone pauses at that statement, we need to re-examine what happening in this country when it comes to prisons.

Part 2 with Mike Schnobrich from the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE)

Best Quotes:

On Staffing and security at the prisons:
6 years after 9-11 after Homeland Security’s major priority was to increase communication (between Fire,police and emergency personnel) it is still not done. – Mike Schnobrich

The correctional officer is the toughest beat in law enforcement. We have a lock-em away mentality. On 9-11, we observe 9-11, but we forget about the officers that have to deal with the people who committed this terrorist act- Rep McFadyen.

I also found out that GEO group, which is a private prison corporation, is not only going into privatization of prisons here in the U.S., but also worldwide and are also going into the mental hospitals as well.
We as Americans really need to ask ourselves, are there some industries that should not be private? Our prisons are cutting staff and are not investing in preventing recidivism of inmates, our hospitals are overworking nurses and staff, and the trend is continuing in nursing homes and even with private contractors in Iraq.
Somehow, we must either prevent these industries from basing their motives on profit only, or find a way to incentivize reforming their industry. – For example, rewarding a prison for lowest recidivism rates and highest successes for actually reforming inmates.
Most importantly, we have to stop basing policy on what the lobbyists in these industries are dictating to congress.

Comments

3 thoughts on “This week on “60 Minutes” CO.Rep. Buffie McFadyen on private prisons and Supermax

  1. no education training. According to a friend of mine that works on prison education, private prisons skimp on training. 

    How do we expect to get recidivism down if we warehouse convicts for a few years, then send them back to their old life harder, meaner, and less employable.  It may be cheaper in the short run, but it costs us for over time.

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