Private Prisons and the American Police State
By Steven Forrest

In the last few decades, the population of our National Prisons has nearly tripled. This phenomenon can be attributed to many factors ranging from the increasing economic insecurity to the War on Drugs. Statistics tell us that 1 in 18 American men are now incarcerated or being monitored. Although this number could be reasonably justified as a reflection of our social morality breakdown, America still leads the world in per capita imprisonment and the privatization of the our corrections system calls into question the motives behind tougher sentencing and the ever increasing police state in this country.

Since 1980, the increase of population in prisons or under surveillance by the judicial system has increased to over 7 million persons. This increase is said to be attributable to the following factors:

1. Increased federalization of crime – The federal government has expanded its control into areas that have historically fallen under state jurisdiction.

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