A lot of things can go wrong when states add the profit motive to law enforcement by privatizing prisons. In Idaho, the FBI is currently investigating the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), a private prison corporation, for understaffing the biggest prison in the state, according to a report by the Idaho Statesman.
The prison became “so violent that inmates dubbed it ‘Gladiator School’.”
How did the CCA make up for the inadequate number of corrections officers that was cut to maximize their profits from the “about $29 million a year” contract paid by the state of Idaho?
By “ced[ing] control to prison gangs,” as a 2012 lawsuit on behalf on inmates alleged. That resulted in an increase in violence inside the facility.
And there you have it: a perfect example of why certain core functions of government should never be submitted to the market logic of corporate capitalism. Here we see, in all brutality, how humans, both prison inmates and correctional staff, are merely seen as cost factors that need to be minimized in order to maximize profits. If a few prisoners rip each other to pieces, who cares?