This is the act of moving control of prisons from the government to corporations. In the United States incarceration is a growth industry.
Corrections Corporation of America is the largest player in the market.

blah blah quality corrections blah blah blah lower cost to the taxpayer blah blah

Every corporation has a contractual obligation to its owners to make as much profit as possible. In this industry, prisoners equal profits, so the corporations involved are required to somehow generate as many prisoners as possible.
This isn’t very difficult: they lobby Congress. They lobby for more laws, stricter enforcement, and stiffer penalties. It turns out that passing these laws are in the interests of most politicians anyway since they don’t want to be seen as "soft on crime". More laws appear. More people become criminals. The prison industry earns more profits.
There are people out there whose self interest lies in putting more people in prison. There are people whose livelihood depends on the continued existence of crime. I have no problem with making sure people who deserve to be in prison end up there, but in order to maintain growth, people who don't deserve to be incarcerated eventually will be. The situation scares the hell out of me.

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