John Pfaff is a Professor at Fordham Law School, who specialises in prison issues.
See this thread:
And this thread:
TLDR of all of the above:
Although private prisons suck, they are not the key problem. Most of the money, most of the forced labor, most of the individual and societal injustice is delivered via public prisons. Guard’s unions are an important factor in this, as are the corporations that profit from imprisoned labor, as is the enthusiastic support of White America for the carceral state.
The disenfranchisement of imprisoned Americans is weaponised as a political tool by the right. Not just through the denial of the franchise, but by the theft of representation. In regard to prisoners, the 3/5ths Compromise was better than the current reality.
The defacto enslavement of a large proportion of the Black population severely distorts perceptions of the economic state of the nation. Working class disadvantage is increasingly being replaced by imprisoned slave disadvantage.