The Troubling History Of America’s Private Prisons

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Image: Detroit Publishing Co.

The thinking behind private prisons in the mid-1800s could scarcely have been more starkly described than in an article in the Telegraph and Texas Register. “If a profit of several thousand dollars can be made on the labor of twenty slaves, why may not a similar profit be made on the labor of twenty convicts?” the newspaper’s correspondent asked in all seriousness.

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