Solution: Eliminate Money: For Profit Prisons

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One of the really ugly side of money is for-profit privately owned prisons to house those convicted by the government. While this is not a phenomenon that happens in every country around the world, it is an increasing threat to human rights on a global scale, as the U.S. model has been replicated in recent years.

The incentive is profit (money), NOT rehabilitation, health, welfare, mental health, sanitation or physical exercise. The smaller the cost, and larger the population paid for by the government, which is us. The incentive is to put MORE HUMANS IN JAILS where, instead of being productive members of society, their time is often given away to corporate interests for pennies per hour.1 This is one layer of the "modern slavery" that exists in the world today. This must end.

Instead, without the lure of monetary gain, prisons would largely be a thing of the past, as many of the incentives stemming from greed for power and money would be gone. A large percentage of the remaining former prison population (or potential population) would instead have access to appropriate treatment for their mental health issues, as everyone would. And yes, there would likely still be a small percentage of inmates for whom mental health treatment does not produce the desired effect, and who are either unwilling or unable to be peaceful members of society. Prisons would be reserved only for those who remain violent, and an immediate threat to themselves and others. and would not be helped further with mental health experts’ assistance.

NOTES

  1. Whitney Benns, "American Slavery, Reinvented - The Thirteenth Amendment forbade slavery and involuntary servitude, 'except as punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.'", The Atlantic, September 21, 2015, https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/09/prison-labor-in-america/406177/