The business of prison building is big business, yet prisons are fast becoming a financial drain on the states that built them, as incarcerations grow at a rate greater than the prisons can be build and maintained.

First U.S. woman presidential candidate
Victoria Woodhull (1838-1927) wrote: “Good care is taken that each
state shall have its own prisons … and other asylums; but not one
building is erected nor one law enforced that would teach the people
how not to contribute to these over-crowded receptacles of human
misery.”

The U.S. prison system confines and punishes convicts. Today’s
prisons house people convicted of unlawful behavior. Before the 1700s,
governments seldom imprisoned criminals awaiting trial or punishment.
Punishment was outrightly given convicts, to include branding, fines,
whippings, execution. Various punishments have mostly failed in their
deterrence.

Reported in the July/August 2008 issue of Mother Jones:
“Nearly one in four of all prisoners worldwide are incarcerated in
America. One in nine African-American men between ages 20 and 34 is
locked up. In 1970, U.S. prisons held fewer than 200,000 people. That
number now exceeds 1.5 million. When jail populations are factored into
the mix, it is 2.3 million people – 1 in 100 American adults.”

First the banks, then the mortgage lenders, then the automotive
industry… are we next headed for the bailiwick of prison bailout?

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