Definition of MONOPOLY
exclusive ownership through legal privilege, command of supply, or concerted action
exclusive possession or control
a commodity controlled by one party
one that has a monopoly
While it would appear that no one corporation enjoys a monopoly, some are getting close.
Hundreds of thousands of prison beds are now privatized. Many of those beds are owned and operates by Corrections Corporations of America and Geo Group (formerly Wackenhut). They lease these beds to numerous states and the federal Bureau of Prisons.
Between these two corporations - CCA and Geo, respectively - they "own" or "lease" 169,000 prison beds in the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC). As this is written they are seeking more beds while still more are coming online every quarter from new prison construction and leasing of existing, outdated or unused state facilities.
Every year they "merge" of "acquire" smaller private prison corporations and accumulate the beds "owned" by those entities, the contracts held by the smaller company and the taxpayer income received through those existing contracts. In addition, title to the bodies filling those beds transfers from one to the other adding to the bottom line or the purchaser.
CCA is the nation's largest owner and operator of partnership correction and detention facilities and one of the largest prison operators in the United States, behind only the federal government and three states. They currently operate 66 facilities, including 45 company-owned facilities, with a total design capacity of approximately 90,000 beds in 19 states and the District of Columbia.
Geo Group now has 79,000 beds at 116 correctional, residential and treatment facilities. They just "merged" with Cornell Corrections, another major player in private prison operations.Projected annualized revenues are projected to be $1.5 billion.
In addition to the beds owned by these two corporations, they also have diversified their services to include providing all phases of healthcare, food service (like Aramark and Trinity), work (prison industries) and educational services. The quote blow is directly from CCA's current 3rd quarter 2010 financial report:
"CCA is the nation's largest owner and operator of partnership correction and detention facilities and one of the largest prison operators in the United States, behind only the federal government and three states. We currently operate 66 facilities, including 45 company-owned facilities, with a total design capacity of approximately 90,000 beds in 19 states and the District of Columbia. We specialize in owning, operating and managing prisons and other correctional facilities and providing inmate residential and prisoner transportation services for governmental agencies. In addition to providing the fundamental residential services relating to inmates, our facilities offer a variety of rehabilitation and educational programs, including basic education, religious services, life skills and employment training and substance abuse treatment. These services are intended to reduce recidivism and to prepare inmates for their successful re-entry into society upon their release. We also provide health care (including medical, dental and psychiatric services), food services and work and recreational programs."
From Geo's 3rd quarter 2010 financial report we learn about their Cornell merger and that their diversification now includes "Geo Care", institutions and facilities for youth offenders and more acquisitions of smaller companies and facilities:
For the third quarter of 2010, GEO Care revenue increased by approximately $30.3 million year-over-year. This revenue increase was primarily driven by GEO’s merger with Cornell Companies, which added approximately $23.8 million in revenues from the integration of Cornell’s Community Based and Youth Services facilities under GEO Care, and by the acquisition of the 354-bed Columbia Regional Care Center in South Carolina in the fourth quarter of 2009.
For the third quarter of 2010, International Services revenue increased by approximately $10.9 million year-over-year driven by the activation of the Parklea Correctional Centre in Australia; the opening of a 360-bed expansion at the Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre in the United Kingdom; and positive foreign exchange rate fluctuations.
GEO represents government clients in the United States, Australia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. GEO’s worldwide operations include the management and/or ownership of approximately 79,000 beds at 116 correctional, detention and residential treatment facilities, including projects under development
In 2008 when the information below was provided, there were approximately 18 U.S. Corporations involved in running, leasing or operating private prisons in the U.S. I dispute the total number of prisoners the article identifies as being privately guarded, but the concept, regardless of numbers is the same.
"Private prisons are the biggest business in the prison industry complex. About 18 corporations guard 10,000 prisoners in 27 states. The two largest are Correctional Corporation of America (CCA) and Wackenhut, which together control 75%. Private prisons receive a guaranteed amount of money for each prisoner, independent of what it costs to maintain each one. According to Russell Boraas, a private prison administrator in Virginia, "the secret to low operating costs is having a minimal number of guards for the maximum number of prisoners." The CCA has an ultra-modern prison in Lawrenceville, Virginia, where five guards on dayshift and two at night watch over 750 prisoners. In these prisons, inmates may get their sentences reduced for "good behavior," but for any infraction, they get 30 days added - which means more profits for CCA. According to a study of New Mexico prisons, it was found that CCA inmates lost "good behavior time" at a rate eight times higher than those in state prisons." Source: "The prison industry in the United States: big business or a new form of slavery?"
Now in 2010, as I've just shown directly from Geo and CCA's most current financial reports, they have space for 169,000 prisoners, detainees, youthful offenders and offenders in treatment facilities worldwide.
The information obtained indicates that the concept of privately run government prison operations in the U.S. is now being "outsourced" to many other nations: Australia, the U.K., New Zealand and many others. It is bad enough that we have this kind of manipulation of laws and contracts to allow for the incarceration of more and more of us - for longer periods of time - so corporate interests can earn huge profits, but the export of such a system to other countries will result in more and more incarceration world wide. This is being done not for protecting our societies but rather to increase profits, and consolidate more power and influence wielded by the corporations involved - worldwide.
If we as U.S. citizens are unable to stop this migration of privately run prison operations to other countries, our reputation and standing within the world arena is going to be worse than it already is after 8 years of President Bush - who allowed this concept to come to fruition in the first place. Once these other countries realize that the disinformation they were provided by CCA, Geo and others, that encouraged them to allow the corporations to privatize their prisons, was just that disinformation, we will be looked upon as responsible for what happened to their countries.
It is not only private prison companies involved. Indeed, there are all those peripheral corporations - akin to the relationship between sharks and the parasite sucking pilot fish that congregate around sharks and other carnivorous fish species. These corporate "pilot fish" include corporations such as Aramark, Trinity, PHS, AT&T, Boeing and other corporations and manufacturers who realize a profit from feeding, treating or working the increasing number of prisoners available to them through prison privatization. Not to be left in the dust, we now have many religious groups, organizations and associations clamoring for more of the scraps that fall from the prison tables. These religious and church run groups offer up privately run drug rehab, alcohol rehab, reentry and other programs designed to take advantage of prisoners. All the programs operated by these "spiritual" groups are operated not out of faith or a desire to improve the lives of the prisoners, rather for profit. They receive tax dollars through federal grants to operate their programs. In addition media articles chronicling their activities allow them to receive private donations to further increase profits and expand their programs.
This narrowing of the distance between government and religion through prison and prisoner programs has started to impact our society in other ways. In particular many among our population now find it is their right to question the faith and beliefs of those who run for office. Religion has no place in our electoral processes, yet over the past two decades it has come to play a major role in how some of us vote in the elections. This is allowed to continue and become more involved with each election because questions of faith and religion of the candidates is funded and encouraged by the corporate interests that are also trying to guide our political processes. Diversions from key issues created by the religious involvement in our elections is funded by the corporations interested in using the issues raised by them to confuse the electorate and further their objectives of putting those in office who will best serve the corporate interests.
This blending of corporate and religious interests in determining the path of our nation is one of the most dangerous elements to come out of this entire corporate/legislative/faith relationship. These key groups represent the money, power and "principles" behind a course they have charted for the direction of our democracy. Worse, they are now taking this road-map to other countries...countries that are without the political safeguards our democracy "had" and has lost to this powerful cabal. Successful operations in those countries will go much more quickly and enable corporate interests and profits to increase much faster.
It appears that the goal - besides profits - is to incarcerate a large percentage of every population and through that act, leverage more and more influence within the individual state societies.
My claim may appear to be far-fetched to some readers, but you only have to look to New Zealand over the past year. There some of our biggest proponents of the 3 strike laws, truth in sentencing and other laws that today are causing us such problems, have been presented to the government of New Zealand and were to be implemented this year.
Think there is no connection between ALEC and our lawmakers with the enhanced criminal laws such as 3 strike, truth in sentencing and other companion laws overseas? You would be wrong. Germany, New Zealand, Australia and the U.K. have/are all considering implementing their own form of these oppressive and harsh laws. These countries are all trying to implement such laws in the face of what it has done to our country financially and as a society. Why would they take such dangerous steps when it has cost us and the country so much? Corporations and ALEC.
ALEC is proud that they are now "International" with members from those countries named above. They welcome members from overseas who have the same conservative views as those expressed by ALEC and their members and supporters.
"During a roundtable conference with key European legislators, ALEC members were recently told that despite resounding â€œNoâ€ votes in referendums in France and Holland, the EU was still proceeding with the draft European Constitution by continually introducing sections of the draft by piece-meal legislation".
"Throughout 2009—2010, the Task Force has worked tirelessly on behalf of its members, presenting conference testimony on contraband tobacco legislation in the US Congress, and submitting a letter to the Australian Senate which was used to oppose a plain packaging bill. Also, our model legislation supporting final ratification of the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement is being used by the Colombian Embassy in D.C. as promotional material.
"ALEC continues to build strategic partnerships across the globe, while maintaining our public-private sector model. With international legislative members and decision makers from three continents, the IRTF is expanding its reach to further Jeffersonian principles. We are consistently adding new international partners in order to maximize our impact—both in the United States and abroad!"
Check out this picture with the caption: "ALEC briefing with representatives from the People’s Republic of China’s Commerce Ministry on December 7, 2009." and on the same page: "Moldovan Prime Minister Vlad Filat and ALEC Executive Director Ron Scheberle discuss business opportunities in Moldova at a roundtable at ALEC on January 21, 2010.
And lest your are left with any doubts as to the influence of ALEC and their corporate member's influence and manipulations overseas:
"The members of the International Relations Task Force (IRTF) believe in the power of free markets and limited government to propel economic growth not just in the United States but around the globe. To that end, the IRTF promotes both bilateral and multilateral free trade frameworks, initiatives and partnerships that strengthen the intellectual property rights of our members worldwide and other policies that create and sustain prosperous societies. This is increasingly important as more and more American companies expand their operations overseas and as states recognize that robust international trade programs are an effective way to grow their economies. Along with the support of ALEC's traditional public and private sector members, the IRTF has cultivated relationships with legislators and other officials and organizations around the world that can serve as partners on a wide range of issues. ALEC's international policy work is persuasive abroad precisely because our policy directives are backed by our public and private sector members -- American state legislators from all 50 states and some of the world's largest corporations."Found here.
I believe the foregoing quote from the ALEC website says it all in a nutshell. They and their corporate members such as CCA, Geo, AT&T, GlaxoSmithKline, PhRMA and the hundreds of other corporations are directly and deliberately carrying their principles and business practices to other countries even as this is written. The money saved by replacing your jobs with prisoners has become profits to the corporations. This money is being put to use furthering their interests in pursuing the same agenda in other countries. More prisoners here, more prison industry, increased profits allowing for the funding of efforts elsewhere.
The steady loss of jobs in the U.S. is putting more and more of us at risk of losing homes, cars, education for our children, etc. A side effect is that as we concentrate on putting food on the table and trying to land some kind of job, our efforts are so difficult, we have no time to address social issues and participate in the current arguments on important issues. Our important issues is feeding our family and keeping a roof over our heads. Those who own corporations are not so distracted and therefore able to apply full force and support in advancing their side of issues in the public arena. This allows important issues to be less argued by those of us not participating in the discussion, and this skews the argument in favor of the corporations.
There is no doubt what their motives or objectives are. They have begun installing corporations in those countries abroad, they are promoting their conservative goals over there and they have the help of the U.S. Lawmakers to assist them in their endeavors.The most frightening aspect of the foregoing information supplied directly from ALEC's site, is the connections established between ALEC and China. What is that going to lead to? I mean CHina is already the worlds leader in the use of prisoner labor in manufacturing...
Join me tomorrow as we further explore these issues and discuss how to put a stop to this group dedicated to spreading their agenda worldwide.