Hillary Clinton Says She’ll End Private Prisons, Stop Accepting Their Money

Why was she taking money from that industry in the first place?

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton pledged Thursday to ban the use of private prison companies if elected president, and in the meantime will stop accepting campaign contributions from those corporations and the lobbyists who work for them. All previous donations will be given to charity, the former secretary of state’s campaign said.

This was no small potatoes. Hillary Clinton was taking big money from private prison lobbyists. Then she got caught:

Richard Sullivan, of the lobbying firm Capitol Counsel, is a bundler for the Clinton campaign, bringing in $44,859 in contributions in a few short months. Sullivan is also a registered lobbyist for Geo Group, a company that operates a number of jails, including immigrant detention centers, for profit.

As we reported yesterday, fully five Clinton bunders work for the lobbying and law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. The Corrections Corporation of America, the largest private prison company in America, paid Akin Gump $240,000 in lobbying fees last year. The firm also serves as a law firm for the prison giant, representing the company in court.

Akin Gump lobbyist and Clinton bundler Brian Popper disclosed that he previously helped Corrections Corporation defeat efforts to compel private prisons to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests.

Do we need to be reminded about prison-industrial-complex is all about?

A new report from In the Public Interest (ITPI) revealed last week that private prison companies are striking deals with states that contain clauses guaranteeing high prison occupancy rates. The report, “Criminal: How Lockup Quotas and ‘Low-Crime Taxes’ Guarantee Profits for Private Prison Corporations,” documents the contracts exchanged between private prison companies and state and local governments that either guarantee prison occupancy rates (essentially creating inmate lockup quotas) or force taxpayers to pay for empty beds if the prison population decreases due to lower crime rates or other factors (essentially creating low-crime taxes).

Some of these contracts require 90 to 100 percent prison occupancy.