Private Prisons Profit from Prejudice

By Dr. Niaz Kasravi, NAACP Criminal Justice Advocate

Cross-posted from TheGrio.Com

Arizona's controversial immigration law is actually a business model carefully crafted by private prisons rather than a law aiming to fix anything about America's broken immigration system. The seeds of this law — SB 1070 — were planted last year when two men from a private prison company showed up in Benson, AZ to sell the idea of a prison made specifically for illegal immigrants.

When NPR broke a story revealing the link between the private prison companies and SB 1070, many expressed outrage at how the prison industry is working to profit off of immigrant communities. What was not much discussed is the historical roots of private prisons and the reality that this industry has in fact been acquiring massive wealth off of communities of color at least since the 1860s Reconstruction Era.