We could have slipped down this slippery slope with that proposed CCA private prison, down to where Casa Grande Arizona is, inviting CCA's guards and dogs into our schools to collect our children as private prison customers.
Sadhbh Walshe wrote for the Guardian 13 December 2012, Arizona funnels business to CCA through its school-to-prison pipeline: Casa Grande invited a private prison firm to help make a high-school marijuana bust. Can you spot the conflict of interest?
Drug sweeps of schools are not uncommon occurrences in the recent past in America, much to the chagrin of civil rights advocates, who see such sweeps as an efficient means of diverting certain kids to prison — in some cases, even before they make it to adolescence, via the much-criticized "school-to-prison pipeline". What was unusual about this particular raid, however, is that, among the team of law enforcement personnel and canines put together by the local Casa Grande police department, there were prison guards employed by the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the country's largest for-profit prison company, which owns and operates several prisons in the area. CCA was also kind enough to provide their sniffer dogs for the raid.
What's even more unusual about this is that pretty much nobody in a position of authority in and around Casa Grande seems to think there's anything wrong with that.
The state of Georgia spends a billion dollars a year locking people up, many of them for minor drug offenses, and around 85% of them for drug-related offenses. What if instead we spent a fraction of that money on drug counselling and mental health care, and the rest on public education? Then we'd have healthier people more prepared for real jobs.
PS: Owed to Dante Acevedo.