07:49 GMT31 May 2020
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    Canadian advocacy group Citizens Against Private Prisons spokesperson Sharon Dion claims that US corrections companies running private prisons want to use inmates to make more money.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US corrections companies running private prisons want to use inmates to make more money, Canadian advocacy group Citizens Against Private Prisons (CAPP) spokesperson Sharon Dion told Sputnik.

    "These private prison companies lobby for longer incarceration time," Dion said on Thursday. "That means more money."

    On Tuesday, US Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders said he wanted the United States to stop private companies running private prisons and profiting from them.

    Dion pointed out there was strong evidence that keeping people locked up for profit did not work.

    "Our provincial government did not renew the US based private prison company Management and Training Corporation after their five year contract due to the horrific problems that occurred," she noted.

    Dion agreed with Sanders’ comments and warned that the major private US corporations could not keep their promises on rehabilitating convicts or preventing them from slipping back into criminal behaviour after release, known as recidivism.

    Pablo Paez, corporate relations vice president of the GEO Group, told Sputnik on Thursday his company had reduced recidivism and helped rehabilitate inmates for reentry into public society.

    "Our company’s industry-leading services and programs are in-line with criminal justice reform efforts aimed at providing improved offender rehabilitation, community reentry alternatives, and recidivism reduction programs," Paez said.

    The GEO Group is one of the largest corrections corporations in the world, maintaining prison facilities in North America, Australia, South Africa and the United Kingdom. The company is based in Boca Raton, Florida.

    On Tuesday, Sanders said there were around 1.6 million prisoners in US federal and state penitentiaries in 2013, 133,044 prisoners or 8.4 percent of them are housed in private prisons.


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