You know how conservatives and libertarians like to remind us that privatization is the panacea that will cure society of all its ills because the private sector is so much more efficient in everything it does?
Well read this story of a pair of judges who have recently pled guilty to charges of wire fraud and income tax evasion for imprisoning teenaged defendants who should never have received jail terms in exchange for kickbacks from a privately run prison in Pennsylvania. Then come back andtell me you still think subjecting EVERYTHING to the profit motive is such a great idea:
At worst, Hillary Transue thought she might get a stern lecture when she appeared before a judge for building a spoof MySpace page mocking the assistant principal at her high school in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. She was a stellar student who had never been in trouble, and the page stated clearly at the bottom that it was just a joke.The private sector hasn't shown itself to be a model of good citizenship over the past 8 years, has it? Staring with Enron, Worldcom et. al. and ending with the mortgage backed financial collapse of the last few months, you wonder why anyone has any faith in private industry to do anything right.
Instead, the judge sentenced her to three months at a juvenile detention center on a charge of harassment.
She was handcuffed and taken away as her stunned parents stood by.
“I felt like I had been thrown into some surreal sort of nightmare,” said Hillary, 17, who was sentenced in 2007. “All I wanted to know was how this could be fair and why the judge would do such a thing.”