Feb 20 2018
12:37 pm


In addition to corporate run prisons, private companies are now taking over fee-based probation. And failure to pay the fees can lead to more charges and more fees that many cannot pay. It's like a payday loan scheme with spiraling debt, except under the color of law.

US: Private Probation Harming the Poor

The 142-page report, "'Set up to Fail': The Impact of Offender-Funded Private Probation on the Poor," documents private probation company practices in Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee. These states allow private companies to supervise probation for minor crimes, including misdemeanors and criminal traffic offenses. Individuals pay their probation fees directly to the company. But many courts fail to recognize that when an individual is living in poverty, the fees force them to sacrifice basic needs, such as food, housing, and transportation, to pay the probation company. When an individual cannot afford payments, they can face arrest, extended probation, or even prison.

And in Knox County, inmates are isolated from their families and may only communicate via video feed. Inmates get one video visit per week. After that, families must pay for each video visit. Families are also charged up to 10% to deposit money into inmate jail accounts.

Evidently, crime pays... if you're a corporation with a criminal justice outsourcing contract.

bizgrrl's picture

That's crazy.

That's crazy.

jbr's picture

My four months as private prison guard

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