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However, according to the Department of Justice’s “Emerging Issues on Privatized Prisons” report, private prisons offer at best a 1% cost savings over their government operated counterparts, while at the same time having 49% more assaults on staff and 65% more assaults on other inmates. Corporations owning correctional facilities is not the only way that prisons and the War on Drugs have been used as a source of income.For instance, even in government-ran facilities, inmates and their families are regularly subject to price gouging by phone carriers. While the average cost of a phone call in the United States is 3 cents per minute, inmates and their families end up paying between 16 cents and .00 per minute. The profits are then split between the carrier and the government body who awarded the contract.
News Corp., now infamous for the News International phone hacking scandal in the UK, owns Fox, My Network TV and other stations totaling some 27 television stations in the United States alone, with Fox Television Stations reaching over 35% of American television homes with six duopolies in the top 10 television markets. Fox International owns 120 channels around the globe while News Corp. Then comes Time Warner, the largest media conglomerate with the second highest revenue behind Disney, both of which have holdings which far exceed the space here and include a wide variety of industries including monopolies on cable service in some locations. As with many of the other powerful media groups, Time Warner Inc.
also owns production and distribution companies like Fox Home Entertainment, 20th Century Fox Television, Fox Film Entertainment, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Blue Sky Studios, Fox 2000 Pictures and more on an international scale. was formed with the merger of Warner Communications, Inc., Time Inc., and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. and now encompasses a plethora of properties in television, the Internet (like AOL, CNN, TMZ, People.com, Moviefone, Advertising.com, and more), film, publishing (including comic books and more than 150 magazines) along with marketing companies as well.
In fact, it is not uncommon for the government body to receive a signing bonus from the carrier, like $17M in the case of Los Angeles County. Unlike the public, the Federal Communications Commission has no safeguards against price gouging when it applies to those behind bars.
In the federal prison system, all able-bodied inmates who are not a security risk are forced to work for UNICOR or another prison job. UNICOR, also known as Federal Prison Industries, is a government-created corporation that provides many products and services, including clothing, electronics, furniture, data entry and military hardware. UNICOR enjoys a “mandatory source clause” that according to US laws & regulations, forces all federal agencies with the exception of the Department of Defense to purchase products offered by UNICOR instead of the private sector.
of America discussed how drug policy reform threatens their business model: The demand for our facilities and services could be adversely affected by the relaxation of enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction or parole standards and sentencing practices or through the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by our criminal laws.