Civil Rights

More of Harper’s Canada

Private prison companies look to Canada as industry faces lawsuits in US, Bilbo Poynter, The Guardian, June 19, 2011
– US states are beginning to rely less on privately run prisons, but Canada may be a land of opportunity for the two biggest firms

“US private prison firms are targeting Canada for fresh opportunities as pressure builds at home on the troubled multi-billion dollar industry from human rights groups and legal actions, and as more states look to scale back their reliance on them.

“Two of the biggest operators in an industry once regarded as recession-proof, Geo Group and Management and Training Corporation (MTC), have been lobbying various government departments in the Canadian capital, Ottawa.

“With a massive prison overhaul plan already underway – as well as the passage in March of Bill C-10, a suite of crime legislation that most observers agree will see more Canadians face prison time and keep those already locked up behind bars for longer – it seems the American industry’s interest in its neighbour to the north could not come at a better time.

“The private industry’s lobbying of Canadian lawmakers has some Canadian prison watchers worried. “There is something unethical with having corporations seeking profits from locking people up,” wrote a group of former high-ranking Canadian justice officials to the Kingston Whig-Standard newspaper in March…”

Private prison companies look to Canada as industry faces lawsuits in US, ProPublica Muckreads

Two of the biggest private prison operators in the United States — GEO Group, Inc. and Management and Training Corporation (MTC) — have been lobbying officials in Canada to expand their footprint in the region.

While both companies have been connected to private prison projects in the country before, the recent lobbying efforts come at an opportune time in light of recent crime legislation in the country that will “see more Canadians face prison time and keep those already locked up behind bars for longer.”

Judge Convicted in Pennsylvania Kids-for-Cash Scheme, Democracy Now, February 2011

“A federal jury has found a former Pennsylvania judge guilty of participating in a so-called “kids for cash” scheme, in which he received money in exchange for sending juvenile offenders to for-profit youth jails over the years. Former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella, Jr., was convicted Friday of accepting bribes and kickbacks for putting juveniles into detention centers operated by PA Child Care and a sister company, Western Pennsylvania Child Care. Ciavarella and another judge, Michael Conahan, are said to have received $2.6 million for their efforts…”

Prisons, Privatization, Patronage, Paul Krugman, New York Times, June 21, 2012

6 replies »

  1. I wish that politicians offer themselves up to the same degree of laws and punishments as they inflict on Canadians. In my book, a corrupt politician should spend a minimum of 25 years behind bars as they are a far more menace to Canadian society than your average murderer.

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  2. wrt the comment by Evil Eye:

    It’s interesting that Lord Black, who may soon be advanced as an expert on penal systems, stated in his interview with Senator Mansbridge that persons who commit “non-violent” crimes should not be incarcerated. I suppose this would include corrupt politicians and public officials as well as the individual miscreants and members of criminal organizations in the corporate and investment sectors to whom the lord was probably referring.

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  3. I suspect he means that he and his type should not go to jail for their commercial crimes. Pocketing an elderly widow's life savings is no big deal in that man's eyes, especially when the money can fund mansions in different parts of the world and private jet travel to visit them.

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  4. Google private prison operators and you get a whole bunch of articles on how bad the private corps are at managing prisons. Just another layer of tax dollar sucking pigs. This must not be allowed to happen.

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