Letters: No private prisons

Published: Friday, March 8 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

The latest version of SB72 regarding relocation of the Draper prison contains a stealth provision that would effectively privatize the prison. To deprive a citizen of his/her liberty is the most serious thing any society can do. That's why, in any moral society, the judicial system and the penal system are always left in the hands of "We the People" via our government. In other words, we citizens should take full responsibility for depriving any fellow citizen of his/her liberty. That's why the Framers included Amendments five through eight in the U.S. Constitution, so as to maximize justice and fairness when it comes to incarcerating a fellow citizen.

Private corporations are not interested in justice and fairness. They are interested only in maximizing their profits. To turn prisoners over to a private corporation, as this bill now proposes, is not only contrary to the spirit of the Bill of Rights but is profoundly immoral, because the profit motive that drives these corporations will inevitably induce them to keep people locked up longer than they would be in a publicly-accountable prison.

Thomas Huckin

Salt Lake City

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