Prisons for Profit = Perplexing Problem

Is there a problem if a business, which intended as a detention facility for young criminals, pays a judge a “finder’s fee” for sending them new “customers”?  Judge Mark Ciavarella was found guilty of charges relating to $997,600 that was paid to him by Robert Powell (according to information found online via a Google News Search), who built the PA Child Care center.  The judge asserted that he never accepted money for sending juveniles to detention centers.  The enraged mother of a kid who committed suicide after a term in a detention center, held the judge responsible for the death.

Americans have accepted the facts of life and the necessity of prison facilities, but what the teabag generation does not like is the Prisons existing as a government function without turning a profit.  Putting private firms in charge of prisons will reduce government, but figuring out how adding a profit making middle man can be portrayed as an efficient step toward economic efficiency was more of a challenge.

Isn’t one way to do that, to bust the prison guards union and pay the private security employees less, make some profit, and do some cost reduction? 

That brings up a disturbing aspect of the new philosophy of prisons.  If you were a cut-rate guard, which group would you rather supervise:  a bunch of inept grass-smoking slackers or juvenile delinquents who don’t hesitate to commit burglaries or steal cars? 

So, if you prefer low maintenance stoners, how are you going to get enough to fill your facility? 

Can you think of a better source for new “customers” than a tough as nails judge?

There were stories about the furor over illegal aliens in Arizona that asserted that the underlying motivation for the fuss was to get more illegal aliens and use them as inmates in a prison-for-pay facility because a poor day laborer would be a much more preferred detainee than a bank robber, or someone who was found guilty of aggravated assault.

We found out about the trial, which took place in our old home town of Scranton Pa., while listening to one of the few Mike Malloy radio shows that had not been preempted by Lady Bear or Dons Basketball.  In L. A. the Kings Hockey matches are the culprits who preempt the prolific progressive pundit.  Malloy ran the intriguing prison for profit item in the profusion of information designed to fuel outrage.  Is it any wonder that the conservative capitalists prefer to preempt the guy who provides a tsunami of information that might undercut the conservative trend towards a thousand year Republican Reich?

Do some Google News searches for Judge Ciavarella, Robert Powell, Robert Mericle, and Judge Michael Conahan.   Maybe you will find enough to do a book on the scandal from the anthracite area.  Maybe there’s enough on the down side of the perplexing prisons for pay problem for a book length project? 

When an online columnist finds enough information for just one short column that means he has done a good job.  After this column is posted, we gotta find some new underreported topic and gather enough for an interesting installment.  We can’t put all the relevant material in a column that gets scanned at top speed so why try.  Perhaps we can find out where all the homeless hippies in Venice CA have gone?  We have already posted a column that looks at the trend of sports programs replacing partisan progressive political punditry, so scratch that idea.

Will there be a Kings game on tonight or will we be able to hear the Mike Malloy Program?

Albert Einstein has been quoted as saying:  “A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.  This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us.  Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”  Isn’t compassion one of the Capitalists’ Seven Deadly Sins?

Now the disk jockey will play Johnny Cash’s “Live at Folsom Prison” album, his “At Osteraker Prison” album, and his “Live at San Quentin” album.  We gotta go for a walk on the Venice Beach.  Have a “ramblin’ man” type week.

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