Report charts dangerous rise of youth Prison Industrial Complex

October 22, 2013


The first of a two-part investigation published by the Huffington Post Tuesday tracks the fierce growth of the youth Prison Industrial Complex (PIC).Based on juvenile facility data, surveying over 300 privately run juvenile detention institution, the investigation found widespread harsh treatment and a "sweeping" push in recent years to put the youth carceral system in the hands of for-profit prison firms. The HuffPo report focuses on a for-profit youth prison enterprise, Youth Services International. At the helm of the firm, a man whose for-profit prisons have for over two decades been sites of prisoner abuse, investigated at various times by Justice Department and authorities in New York, Florida, Maryland, Nevada and Texas.Despite Slattery’s troubling record, his Youth Services International (YSI) has been entrusted by 16 states across the country to oversee the detention of 40,000 boys and girls in the last 20 years. "Nearly 40 percent of the nation’s juvenile delinquents are today committed to private facilities, according to the most recent federal data from 2011, up from about 33 percent twelve years earlier," HuffPo reported. The investigation notes that, as with trends in the U.S.’s vast adult carceral system, for-profit youth prisons have gained purchase where state budget shortfalls need plugging. The argument for prison privatization, the investigation stresses, is not only economically flawed, but bolsters the U.S.’s world-record prison population size and has given rise to widespread abuses.Continue Reading…

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