Prison Reform is Long Overdue
I believe prison reform is long overdue and an enormous uphill climb. Step One requires electing empathetic leaders, the present bullies at the top will oppose and obstruct every effort. This state's judicial machine is an illusion. The state's sole purpose is to deny and dismiss every judicial act adjudicated in Virginia Courts: justice, fairness, principles, ethics, morals, and even Federal, State, and Constitutional laws become irrelevant in Virginia's Courts in terms of prisoner grievance and criminal justice reform. Few, if any, know that Federal Courts only instruct State Courts to fix/comply with laws of the US Supreme Court and US Constitution. The state NEVER finds grounds/reasons sufficient to reverse decisions made in their courts. Only the media's exposure of corruption avoids injustice, relentless litigation and character assassination.
Prison is a profitable business for some people in very high positions. You'll have to first expose the fact that many Virginia judges have massive investments in the regional jails. This poses a vested interest in filling beds to escalate the returns on their investments. Sheriffs, guards, and staff operate with little or no supervision over inmate care of price fixing of commissary items or bail bonds. Expose! Expose! Expose! Make prison profits and proceeds a point of shame. Racializing sentencing, mass incarceration is a disgrace. The US cannot retain influence on civil rights anywhere until it cleans its own closet. Again, it's a tough climb but exposure and oversight is the key.
Note from CFJ: The nation’s two largest for-profit prison companies, Tennessee-based Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and Florida-based GEO Group (GEO), are publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Other private prison firms, including Management & Training Corporation (MTC), Community Education Centers (CEC), LaSalle Southwest Corrections and Emerald Correctional Management, are privately-held and thus do not have public stock.As of July 2015, CCA had issued approximately 117 million shares of stock with a market cap of $4.05 billion, while GEO had issued around 75 million shares with a market cap of $2.76 billion. So who owns the vast majority of stock in these two companies? The answer is not everyday people or individual investors, but rather other corporations – banks, mutual fund management companies and private equity firms – as well as public employee retirement systems.In fact, around 92.4% of CCA’s stock was owned by 300 institutional investors while 91.1% of GEO Group stock was owned by 272 institutional investors at the end of July 2015. In some cases, the same institutional investors held stock in both companies.The largest owner of CCA stock was Vanguard Group, Inc., with 16.79 million shares valued at $578.9 million, followed by Vanguard’s Specialized-REIT Index Fund, a mutual fund, with 8.8 million shares. Other top institutional investors included Managed Account Advisors with 6.4 million shares, London Co. of Virginia with 6.13 million shares and Epoch Investment Partners, Inc. with just over 6 million shares. From 2015: https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2015/jul/31/who-owns-private-prison-stock/