Private Prisons Seek Broader Markets. Latest corporate wrinkle: "Treatment Industrial Complex"

November 24, 2014
The Austin Chronicle

A new report finds that prison corporations, stymied by prison reform, are seeking new markets for human product lines – if you can't jail ’em, find another way to make ’em pay.

The “Treatment Industrial Complex has the potential to ensnare more individuals, under increased levels of supervision and surveillance, for increasing lengths of time – in some cases, for the rest of a person’s life.” A report released last week by the American Friends Service Committee, Grassroots Leadership, and the Southern Center for Human Rights coins the term “Treatment Industrial Complex” to describe the latest spinoff of the prison privatization business – aka the Prison Industrial Complex. The emerging “Treatment” complex, declares the report, are those “for-profit prison corporations … adapting to historic reductions in prison populations by seeking out new markets previously served by non-profit behavioral health and treatment-oriented agencies.”