TRS Report: Private Prisons

prison industry

America’s Prison Industry

While the 13th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States ended and abolished slavery, there was an exception; slavery will only be punishable by law.

Today, one of the biggest problems in the urban, and occasionally rural, communities across the country is the prison industry, especially with the large number of private prison companies in America.

Many of the people who are convicted and sentenced for a felony crime are incarcerated in facilities that are held by the private prison companies, while many of the people are arrested and convicted for petty crimes or are a non-violent offense.

The prison industry is growing despite the fact private prisons only make up a minor percentage of the incarceration population and are expected to gain considerable profits during Donald Trump’s term as President, especially with Jeff Sessions as Attorney General that gives him top authority over all law enforcement.


Statistics from the Bureau of Justice shows the amount of people in trouble with law enforcement has been rising steadily since the 1980s:

In 1980, there was less than a total of 2 million people incarcerated, whether they were in jail or in prison or on probation or parole, and by 2013, there was less than 7 million incacerated or under supervision.

The majority of the data comes from people on probation, while people in prison takes up the second most convicts in prison reaching the one million mark by the mid 1990s.

Most of the private prison companies in the United States were created in the mid 1980s, around the time the “War on Drugs” was started.

States in the south like Louisiana have the largest amounts of private prisons as many people are incarcerated for non-violent offenses for a profit.

In some cases, private prison companies have stocks that you can purchase and invest in on the New York Stock Exchange.

With the already high cost of phone usage for inmates and their families, the overpriced commissary and canteen items, and even the outsource of having private and for profit providing medical services, the private prison industry is giant money making machine.

If you research and look up the top companies of the private prison industry in the United States, their official homepage can provide the actual location of all of their facilities, the members of their board of trustees, how profitable and effective their company is, and much more.

While the total number of people imprisoned that are on some type of correctional supervision has slightly decreased, the profit margin and the number of inmates in private prisons, as well as the number of private prisons, has either stayed the same or has increased over the years.

In present day with massive amount of drugs and firearms in the streets of America’s urban communities, together with the enforcement of stricter laws and  the deregulating of certain rules and protections, private companies stand to continue to make a large profit.


Click to see and check out other TRS Reports.