Last year the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the nation’s largest private prison company, received $74 million of taxpayers’ money to run immigration detention centers. Their largest facility in Lumpkin, Georgia, receives $200 a night for each of the 2,000 detainees it holds, and rakes in yearly profits between $35 million and $50 million.
Prisoners held in this remote facility depend on the prison’s phones to communicate with their lawyers and loved ones. Exploiting inmates’ need, CCA charges detainees here $5 per minute to make phone calls. Yet the prison only pays inmates who work at the facility $1 a day.
As Alternet points out, in the past few years, CCA has spent $14.8 million “lobbying for anti-immigration laws to ensure they have continuous access to fresh inmates and keep their money racket going.” Recent anti-immigration laws in Alabama and Georgia keep their facilities full and CCA profits high.
“If he got a “C” in a course, nobody cared, but if he went to school three minutes late he was sent to the principal’s office — and that generalized. He realized that what it meant is, what’s valued here is the ability to work on an assembly line… The important thing is to be able to obey orders, and to do what you’re told, and to be where you’re supposed to be.”