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December 20, 2012 (The Guardian)

Breaking the hold on America's incarceration industry

The US Department of Justice released a report recently showing that 26 states had decreases in their prison populations during 2011.  This is the third consecutive year that the population has declined, and as a result, at least six states have closed or are attempting to close approximately 20 prisons this year.

But because incarceration has become a virtual jobs program in many states and because certain corporations are profiting from the incarceration binge of the past few decades, the reduction in prison populations and prison closures is often being met with resistance.

According to The Sentencing Project report, On the Chopping Block 2012: State Prison Closings, which detailed all the prison closures and attempted closures in the past year, several governors have been dragged into legal battles with state employees and unions who want the prisons to stay open.

Issue Area(s): Sentencing Policy, Incarceration, Collateral Consequences