James Ridgeway

James Ridgeway

In 1965, James Ridgeway helped launch the modern muckraking era by revealing that General Motors had hired private eyes to spy on an obscure consumer advocate named Ralph Nader. He worked for many years at the Village Voice, has written 16 books, and has codirected Blood in the Face, a film about the far right. In 2012, he was named a Soros Justice Media Fellow.

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Mass Appeal to Governors: Don't Privatize Prisons

| Fri Mar. 2, 2012 7:00 AM EST

The private prison giant Corrections Corporation of America has made states an offer they can—and should—refuse. That's the message that went out to state governors on Thursday in letters signed by 60 policy and religious groups. The letters urged the governors of all 50 states not to take up a blanket deal CCA has put forth to buy and privatize their state prisons in return for a promise to keep those prisons filled. 

Two weeks ago, the Huffington Post revealed that CCA was reaching out to states, offering to buy their prisons as a way to deal with their "challenging corrections budgets." The company is proposing that it receive, in exchange for the cash, a 20-year management contract that would require the states to keep their prisons at least 90 percent full for the duration.

This power play by the private prison firm may indicate some anxiety in what has historically been a growth industry. (See charts below.) Beginning in 2009, for the first time in nearly 40 years, the overall US prison population declined slightly. And in several states, plans to privatize prisons have been scaled back, stalled, or rejected.  

Wed Jan. 31, 2007 12:50 PM EST
Sat Jan. 27, 2007 5:35 PM EST
Fri Jan. 19, 2007 4:25 PM EST
Thu Jan. 18, 2007 1:56 PM EST
Wed Jan. 17, 2007 3:04 PM EST
Thu Jan. 11, 2007 1:15 PM EST
Tue Jan. 9, 2007 1:19 PM EST
Mon Jan. 8, 2007 5:02 PM EST
Fri Jan. 5, 2007 1:20 PM EST
Fri Jan. 5, 2007 11:32 AM EST
Thu Jan. 4, 2007 1:33 PM EST
Thu Dec. 14, 2006 12:00 PM EST
Tue Dec. 5, 2006 1:02 PM EST
Thu Nov. 16, 2006 3:17 PM EST
Fri Nov. 10, 2006 10:19 AM EST
Thu Nov. 9, 2006 10:47 AM EST
Wed Nov. 8, 2006 10:19 AM EST
Tue Nov. 7, 2006 8:20 PM EST
Tue Nov. 7, 2006 4:32 PM EST
Tue Nov. 7, 2006 1:50 PM EST
Tue Nov. 7, 2006 12:05 PM EST
Tue Nov. 7, 2006 11:02 AM EST
Tue Nov. 7, 2006 10:22 AM EST
Mon Nov. 6, 2006 4:37 PM EST
Mon Nov. 6, 2006 2:14 PM EST
Mon Nov. 6, 2006 1:56 PM EST
Mon Nov. 6, 2006 10:45 AM EST
Sun Nov. 5, 2006 1:14 PM EST
Sat Nov. 4, 2006 7:00 PM EST
Sat Nov. 4, 2006 12:12 PM EST
Sat Nov. 4, 2006 12:10 PM EST
Thu Nov. 2, 2006 3:05 PM EST
Wed Nov. 1, 2006 11:21 AM EST
Mon Oct. 30, 2006 10:32 AM EST
Wed Oct. 25, 2006 6:42 PM EDT
Fri Oct. 20, 2006 2:01 PM EDT

Tet

Thu Oct. 19, 2006 3:36 PM EDT
Tue Oct. 17, 2006 4:43 PM EDT
Fri Oct. 13, 2006 1:42 PM EDT
Thu Oct. 5, 2006 11:58 AM EDT
Wed Oct. 4, 2006 5:10 PM EDT
Mon Jul. 24, 2006 3:12 PM EDT
Wed Jul. 12, 2006 12:41 PM EDT
Sun Jun. 25, 2006 2:25 AM EDT