This short documentary was interesting to me because I finished a PowerPoint on the prison industrial complex for the UNH NAACP chapter, of which I am the sergeant-of-arms. While preparing for the presentation, I discovered how private corporations invest in the prison systems so they can make a profit. I had no idea that private probation companies were a thing. The woman from Alabama talked about her parking ticket in the documentary, and how she finally got the money to pay the original ticket but she kept seeing fees from the JCS (Judicial Correction Services). Then she would make payments on her fee for the JCS but her balance kept increasing.
The JCS has absolutely no interest in trying to help her pay her ticket and learn from her mistake. Instead, JCS cares about collecting money. They’re debt collectors. The second woman from Georgia got arrested for a DUI and instead of trying to reform her or educate her, the Sentinel private Probation Company decided to lock her up for twenty days, which ended up costing the county more than she actually owed.
These private probation companies do not care about the cities and counties they “serve,” but just the money they can make from the poorest people, the same way corporations in the P.I.C only care about filling prisons so they can get cheap labor and make more money. Both fill jails and prisons so they can make more money, when the original purpose of prison was to rehabilitate and reform. Now prisons are filled with people who committed non-violent crimes and who can’t afford to pay fines and those people don’t need to be there. Instead, impoverished people need help and a means to pay their fines.
By Donald Scott