How often do you hear people complain about those who go to jail, and for their crimes get a roof over their heads, free food and get to watch TV all day? Or as is often the case, the jails act as breeding grounds for gangs and the criminals just change venue at the tax payers expense.... and it is business as usual.
In the United States of America, prisons are now privately owned enterprises, that are paid for with tax payers money per prisoner, these private prisons make a fortune so it pays them to incarcerate as many as possible, which is not to the benefit of the American tax payer but to the Corporate Prison machine. This in turn has led to criminal activity filtering through the police force and the Judaical system, many of whom get a kick back per arrest. What is more, those detained are encouraged to plea bargain as guilty for a lessor sentence, rather than go to trial............. even though they may be innocent or have been charged with some trumped up offense. The threat posed is that if the Judge finds them guilty they will get a longer term or perhaps even life.
The situation has become even more complicated, or rather corrupt. These prisons have now become Gulags, or Prison Slave centres. One in 10 prisoners in the country is held in a commercial prison and in 2010, two private prison corporations made about $ 3 billion in profit. This profit is not going back into the government coffers, it is going into the hands of a few private individuals who own these Prison Corporations, and more often than not is tax exempt and going off shore into foreign bank accounts, like the Cayman Islands or Switzerland for example.
Do I agree with this system? Certainly not! If ever there was an example of Corporate Fascism this has got to be it! But..................... the concept of prisoners being productive, contributing to the economy and giving back to the tax payer and government coffers instead of draining them, has a lot of merit. A profit of $3 Billion would certainly go a long way towards paying off South Africa's debts, the "Arms Deal Scandal" and the "Gauteng E Toll rip off" come to mind! Something we will all be paying for in years to come, even though as tax payers we were never completely informed of the details of these tenders and full transparency was certainly not the order of the day. As I recall, when Vavi was handed the tender documents for the E -Toll so that he could check their validity, most of it was blacked out! Remember that when you hit the freeway..........
In the High Court ruling against Outa ( Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance) According to Judge Louis Vorster: "Matters of financial policy fall with the government"and were not open to public participation. (Mail & Guardian 12/14/2012)
I disagree Sir. Such policies lead to corruption on all levels of government spending as we have seen in recent years and in the extreme, as has happened in the USA, can lead to Prison Gulag Slave centres, where tenders for "Private Prisons" are awarded by "government spending" to corrupt Corporates resulting in Corporate Fascism to the detriment of South African society. I would hate to this this criminal element introduced to our society, where those controlling prisons are more corrupt than those held within them.
However, creating an industry within the Prison system that would be of benefit to government coffers is certainly well worth consideration............ other than smashing stones and prisoners being reduced to slave labour. Perhaps this could be combined with some sort of small business development outside of prisons.
One idea that comes to mind is the cultivation of Hemp which would boost the small farmer and encourage small business development in the agricultural sector, as opposed to Corporate Giants. These small farmers would be given a government licence that would restrict the sale of the Hemp to the prisons. The prisons in turn could become industries for the production of Hemp products which are many and variable. Such products include: animals feed. bird feed, paper , fabric, textiles, rope and building materials. These products can in turn be sold to Small Business across the country, possibly even a Hemp Franchise system.
The system would be self sustaining, support small business development, create employment in the Prison system for which the Prisoners would be paid, the profits going to the benefit of government coffers . Hemp is one idea, I am sure there are many...........
The American Gulag as the latest form of capitalism (I)
Prison labor booms in US as low-cost inmates bring billions
US judges tragic kickback greed exposes prison system profiteering
A Call to President Jacob Zuma to Appoint Commission of Inquiry into the Barclays Bank Takeover in 2005 of Absa and the Arms Deal Scandal.
Taking their toll: How a cosy club dominates SA's toll road empire
Alliance aims to make e-tolls 'unworkable'
The Many Uses of Hemp