Been away from blogging for a bit even though, as always, there’s good stuff to blog. This item (careful! HuffPo link)is a week or so old but still worth discussing because it reflects on a larger issue:
Locking people up is big business. The Corrections Corporation of America, which gives heavily to both parties, is explicit about the connection between immigrant detention policy and the private prison company’s bottom line. “[T]he demand for our correctional and detention facilities and services … could be adversely affected by changes in existing criminal or immigration laws, crime rates in jurisdictions in which we operate, the relaxation of criminal or immigration enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction, sentencing or deportation practices, and the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by criminal laws or the loosening of immigration laws,” the company wrote in an analysis for investors filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. “Immigration reform laws which are currently a focus for legislators and politicians at the federal, state and local level also could materially adversely impact us.”
Think about that for a second. There’s a company that lobbies the government to incarcerate people. Not only that, the company is so large it’s listed on the New York Stock Exchange (!!!). How is this not a major issue, one worthy of coverage on the front page of the NYT or a feature on network news?
I’ve spent a fair amount of my time here and elsewhere bitching about media bias. The lack of coverage and attention and outrage that something like the CCA even exists is a perfect example of that because it transcends whether the bias is “left” or “right.” The bias, as is the case with so many important issues, is about power distribution: those who have it and those who don’t. The people who own our media don’t give a shit about the people who are affected by the CCA’s lobbying. You may see a throwaway mention of this issue, maybe one segment on it. But will there ever be a concerted, extensive effort to shine a light on this? Not a chance.
As the Bard once said…