Private prisons should be abolished. It profoundly stupid to use taxpayer dollars to increase private profits while creating a financial incentive to stuff our prisons with ever more Texans.
Private prisons are notorious for their poor conditions and violence, and often do not actually save money over state run facilities. By buying off politicians with donations, these jailer companies have been able to defeat legislation that would hold them to the same disclosure requirements that apply to government facilities. They avoid public scrutiny and operate under a cloak of secrecy, often operating in ways that are harming incarcerated Texans, their families and ultimately the taxpayers. Additionally, inmates must work for mere pennies per hour, functioning as legal slaves, captives exploited to enhance the corporate bottom line. This for-profit prison system is led by wealthy investors pushing to build ever more prisons, to incarcerate ever more prisoners in exchange for a few poorly paid prison jobs. Profit driven mass incarceration is costing Texas dearly, not only in dollars but in lives destroyed by its perverse and destructive legacy.