Location: Room C
“Private Prisons Are Unconstitutional”: John Dacey, Arizona attorney and founder of Abolish Private Prisons, discusses abolishing private for-profit prisons.
The United States and the majority of state governments have created a justice system that promotes incarceration to drive profit. Our society has made it very profitable for huge corporations to incarcerate people, and the burden of this unholy dynamic falls most disproportionately on the poor and people of color. Private prison corporations command 20-year contracts in Arizona, for example, that guaranty payment for 90% occupancy, and they oppose reforms that would lead to leniency, decriminalization and alternatives to incarceration. Prisoners are calculated as growth commodities on corporate balance sheets. Shareholders are fiscally rewarded when private prison populations increase. These corporations thrive on recidivism. This practice, sponsored by government, is inherently flawed and filled with economic conflicts of interest that violate "life and liberty" guarantees in the Constitution of the United States. Incarceration-for-profit is the new slavery. It is time to abolish this practice throughout the United States.