For-Profit Prisons Essay by Michael Kindt 2012

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For-Profit Prisons Essay by Michael Kindt 2012

Michael Kindt cartoon 2012To Be Read While Blasting ‘Prison Song’ By System Of A Down March 20,2012

A presentation on March 13th by Corrections Corp of America touted the coming growth of the private prison business. It was geared toward potential investors and had a very bullish outlook on locking people up for profit, which is a good thing for the economy—and since we all want the economy to be good, yay, locking people up for profit!

The presentation, in glowing tones, spoke mainly about how the private prison business is such a unique investment opportunity. You would think that this uniqueness stems from the fact that it’s, you know, locking people up in cages for money, but you’d be wrong. It’s because of almost certain growth. What industry, short of recreational drugs, can boast of almost certain growth? The U.S. has the largest number of people behind bars in the world, the presentation pointed out, so the foundation has already been laid. We even have more people locked up than China—and China is a “police state” with four times our population. Funny how that works. One out of every hundred Americans is behind bars, perhaps a fifth of them deservedly so.

The private prison business is also a unique investment opportunity because, despite having more people behind bars than any other nation, in the coming years we will have still more. One subset of caging human beings that is, as yet, largely unexplored is the field of immigrant detention. Everyday in America there are more and more immigrants, both legal and illegal, and lots and lots of them will have to be locked up somehow. The potential for growth in this market should be nothing short of astronomical.

The presentation also pointed out that the U.S. has never slowed, even a little bit, in its continuous creation of new laws. The disappearance of freedom in America is a process that has been going on for decades. Year after year, dozens upon dozens of new laws are enacted at every level of government, thus creating an endless supply of new criminals, many of which will have to be locked up. It’s simple math really. If you have a group of people whose only job is to sit around thinking up new laws, eventually everything will become illegal.

And America, freedom-loving though we pretend to be, has never, ever LEGALIZED anything. Think about it. Can you come up with even one thing that was once illegal, but is now legal? Yeah, me neither. I bet you can think of thousands of things that were once legal, but are now illegal, though. I bet you could make a list that would fill volumes—assuming, of course, you actually had the nards to stare into such a stark mirror.

Oh, and if you said alcohol, you’d be wrong. Alcohol always was legal. Prohibition was just a failed attempt at illegalization, is all. It was a simpler time, when our schools were better and people actually read and thought. We simply realized the error of our ways and stopped trying to make it illegal. Prohibition is still going on, still expanding, and still failing miserably. But times are different now. Schools today teach job skills (barely) and conformity (especially). Plus, there’s always something good to watch on TV and did you hear who just got divorced? If you said “another rail-thin actress with a botox-induced puffy face and plastic hooters,” you’d be correct. We’re no longer capable of realizing the error of our ways. Americans of 2012 are, frankly, dumb as rocks.

How else do you explain the popularity of Fox News?

So if you’re wearing a suit right now and would like to join with Wall Street in profiting on the demise of this country, Corrections Corp of America is listed as CXW on the stock ticker. Get on it.

America, Land of the Free has always been a myth, but now it’s becoming something even worse: a lie. The majority of young people no longer believe it. Ask them. Your children no longer believe the textbooks you give them. The American Dream, too, is becoming a load of crap. Study hard and work harder, and you’ll most likely end up with nothing more than fatigue and a life-long mountain of student debt.

The very existence of an organization like Corrections Corp of America belies the Orwellian hopelessness breeding in the heart of America. The only thing left to do when you’ve become hopeless is get angry. People don’t punch holes in the wall because they know what to do, they punch holes in the wall because they don’t know what else to do.

Keep building those walls, America. I suspect we’re going to need a lot of them.


Michael Kindt is writer living in South Dakota whose work has appeared in College Times, Midwest Lit Review and in the poetry anthology “It’s Dark & Scary In Here.” He’s the author of “Early Onset of Night, Volume One”


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