Incarceration, for some, is a pure tragedy; for others, a burden on taxpayers’ wallets. And yet, there are those who make billions of dollars from the grim industry of private prisons. The US government praises them as a way to ease expenditure, a blessing for the community and inmates – but is that really so? Reports have been describing incompetence, corruption and abuse rife in such privately-owned facilities. To find out what the state of affairs is in such prisons, we decided to ask the man who saw it all with his own eyes – from inside the belly of the beast. Paul Reynolds, former corrections officer at the privately owned Lake Erie prison, is on Sophie&Co.
Sophie Shevardnadze: Paul Reynolds, former corrections officer at the privately owned Lake Erie prison, now activist against for-profit prisons – welcome to the show, it’s great to have you with us. Now, Paul, communities across the U.S. want to minimize costs and gain more money by handing over control of their prisons to private companies. How does it happen that more prisoners mean more profit?