For profit prison operators are making record profits as a result of more stringent sentencing rules. Having become more and more attuned to the folly of privatized utilities, armies and health care this only further corroborates my contention that some services need to be owned by the people. This is especially interesting in light of the layoffs at our own county facility in Coos County.

The United States leads the world in the number of people it incarcerates and government figures show the country’s prison population grew by three percent to a record 2.3 million inmates in 2006.

Harsher sentencing policies have put more criminals behind bars and prison management firms such as the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and The GEO Group are racing to build new jails or expand existing facilities to house more convicted felons.

Additionally, as we learned from the Pew Center report, increases in incarceration do not translate into lower crime rates. So why is the tax payer footing this bill?