A new report by the California Reinvestment Coalition reveals that the privatized system of public debt collection is pervaded with systematic racism. This research showed that the collection of fines and fees is a regressive form of income generation for municipalities. Private debt collectors profit from fines and fees assessed on poor people, facilitated by the state of California. However, the revenue to counties from collecting these fines and fees is miniscule; this system only benefits the private debt collectors.
This report is part 1 of a special 2-part report issued by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) highlighting the investment risks to pension funds and other investors whose portfolios contain exposure to the private prison industry or contractors who provide services to immigration detention centers.
Unmasking the Hidden Power of Cities. Using their authorities, energy and promise to secure the common good.
The Partnership for Working Families, which recently co-authored a new report on the unique power of cities to make progressive change, has launched “We Make This City,” a 10-city national campaign “for community-controlled, publicly owned institutions, structures, and services. We are fighting to ensure all people have access to the systems and structures needed to live full and healthy lives. This includes transportation systems that connect us to work, schools and services, the ability to afford housing in the communities we love, access to clean water and energy and organized power for workers who make all this possible. Public infrastructure connects us all and should serve the needs of the people, not the pockets of corporations. (…) As we struggle to meet our people’s basic needs, corporate interests tell us that they are actually the solution to our problem. Private entities are taking over our roads, our water and our schools — the building blocks of our cities — to create more profit for themselves. It isn’t working for us. The rich are getting richer and our people are suffering.”
In a first-of-its-kind analysis, this report reveals that neighborhood public school students in three California school districts are bearing the cost of the unchecked expansion of privately managed charter schools.
In a new Economic Policy Institute report, “No Free Bridge,” researcher Hunter Blair shows just why these partnerships are far from a “eureka” moment for America’s infrastructure woes. “The idea that P3s allow infrastructure to be built for free is economic snake oil,” Blair said.
Buying Influence. How Private Prison Companies Expand Their Control of America’s Criminal Justice System
"In the Public Interest" has published a comprehensive report on how private prison companies are buying influence to expand their control of the U.S. criminal justice system. This report explores the ways corrections companies influence public officials. It is divided into three sections, each of which studies a separate avenue of influence: campaign contributions, lobbying, and professional corrections associations.
Office of the Inspector Genera U.S. Department off Justice. Inspector General’s report states that, “in most key areas, contract prisons incurred more safety and security incidents per capita than comparable BOP [Bureau of Prison] institutions,” and that, “in recent years, disturbances in several federal contract prisons resulted in extensive property damage, bodily injury, and the death of a correctional officer”.
Private prison companies claim to provide safe facilities that save taxpayers money. In reality, private prisons are more dangerous for inmates and staff, and often fail to deliver the savings they promise. Yet despite their track record of failure, private prison companies continue to secure contracts, spending millions on lobbyists and campaign donations to influence elected officials.
States and local governments spend a substantial portion of their budgets on contracted services, often with no assurance that quality of service will be maintained, costs will be controlled or the public interest will be protected. There ought to be a law! And in many states there are laws that help to protect the public interest. Following are some examples.
Proponents of privatization claim that the private sector can do a better job at a cheaper price. But experience shows that privatization often leads to increased costs for the public and reduced accountability to taxpayers.
State funding for higher education has been on the decline for decades. Administrators believe that outsourcing support services will save money while maintaining quality and accountability. They’re wrong. Privatization leads to a loss of accountability, fails to save money and lowers the quality of services, while harming workers and the local economy.