While America represents only 4.4% of the world’s population, it imprisons 22% of the world’s prisoners. The only people to benefit from this tragic and shameful statistic are detention firms. These firms and Republican politicians have a slick back and forth game going. The detention firms give Republican politicians, like Trump, phat donations, while these Republican politicians keep pushing their legislation that ensures lots of Americans will go to jail.
Weeks before the Justice Department said that they would be phasing out their practice of hiring private prison companies to operate 13 correctional facilities, the GEO Group, a private immigration detention firm, gave a Trump PAC $45,000.
The GEO Group operates detention and correctional facilities. In 2015, it oversaw 64 facilities comprising 75,145 beds, according to an annual report.
After the Justice Department announced they would stop using facilities such as GEO Group, their stock plunged.
Pablo Paez, the GEO Group’s vice president said,
“Our company’s political activities are aimed at promoting the benefits of public-private partnerships in the provision of correctional and detention management services as well as offender rehabilitation and community reentry programs at both the federal level and in state and local jurisdictions across the country.”
If Trump won the presidency, his popular plans to extradite every illegal in the country would require many of the GEO Group’s detention facilities.
One of Trump’s most sweeping policies involve detaining and deporting millions of undocumented immigrants.
“You’re going to have a deportation force, and you’re going to do it humanely,” Trump explained on MSNBC last year. He also called for tripling the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and ending birthright citizenship, a right enshrined in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.
In its filing, Geo Group disclosed that it donates mostly to Republican-leaning groups, $50,000 to the Florida First Project, a new Super PAC backing the re-election campaign of Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; and $1,500 to the Southwestern Border Sheriff Coalition.
Just look at the states that have the biggest number of incarcerated citizens. The top five are Republican states and ten of the bottom 14 states are Democratic!!!!
On top of Trump’s stark immigration policy typically, there are more inmates under Republican presidents than Democratic ones.
- Trickle down economics leads to more poverty, which in turn leads to more crime and incarceration.
- Conservative push to arm as many people as possible of course, adds more gun crimes and hence, more incarceration.
- Drugs are the nation’s biggest reason for incarceration. Democratic legalization stands to reduce the need for detention facilities dramatically. ‘
Detention is an enormous industry. Using NASDAQ data, someone can peruse the long list of investors in Corrections Corporations of America and GEO Group, the two largest detention center corporations in the country.
Some of the names, are Henri Wendell, the person who has invested the most in private prisons. He served on the CCA’s board of directors in 2000. Now, he owns more than 650,000 shares in the company. Those shares are worth more than $25 million.
In an interview Wendell said,
“America is the freest country in the world. America allows more freedom than any other country in the world, much more than Russia and a whole lot more than Scandinavia, where they really aren’t free. So offering all this freedom to society, there’ll be a certain number of people, more in this country than elsewhere, who take advantage of that freedom, abuse it, and end up in prison. That happens because we are so free in this country.”
George Zoley is the CEO of GEO Group. Last year, he made $6 million through salary and bonuses. But he has made $23 million in stock trades during one 18 month period.
These people profit through the incarceration of others. They donate exorbitant amounts of money to Republicans to ensure that their ridiculous laws and regulations stand.
“For many years now, the private prison industry has recognized that immigration enforcement and detention is an incredibly lucrative industry for them,” said Greg Chen, advocacy director at the American Immigration Lawyers Association
“[Trump has] made it clear he plans to run a much more aggressive immigration policy that focuses on deportation and law enforcement,” Chen said. “It makes a great deal of sense that the private prison industry would want to support the candidate that wants to detain and deport more people.”
USA has the largest amount of prisoners in the world. No other country comes close. Considering the proportion of our population, we imprison 17 times as many people as Iceland, 12 times as many as Japan, and 10 times as many as Switzerland.
While those prisoners lay on their cots or stare out their windows, I hope they realize that their lives would undoubtedly be different, if politicians like Trump wouldn’t take money from companies like GEO Group.