Private Prison Industry is Responsible for a Growing Number of Work Injuries

The private prison industry is one ofthe most dangerous places to work, according to research from the United States Department of Labor.


Our Anderson worker’s compensation lawyers note the private prison industry is one of the most dangerous sectors for employees in the United States.

The industry is responsible for 459 injuries per 10,000 full time workers while the average for the private sector and state and local governments is 112 injuries per 10,000 full time workers.

The U.S. Department of Labor recently required a private prison corporation to make comprehensive changes to its policies and procedures to ensure its workers were better protected while in the workplace.

The recent agreement requires the company to hire a third party company to help create a workplace violence prevention plan. Part of the program requires safety audits at each correctional facility.

A major problem with for-profit prisons is that they tend to skimp on staff to save a few dollars. This has a detrimental effect on the safety of the prison as a whole. With less staff to control unruly inmates or outbreaks of violence it becomes more likely that the remaining staff will be seriously injured in the line of duty.

Finally, pay can be a factor for the guards at private prisons. Often these guards are not paid commiserate with the dangers they must face on a daily basis. This means they sometimes resort to smuggling in contraband for prisoners to receive extra income. This practice intertwines the guard with the population and makes it more difficult for them to assert the type of control necessary to keep fellow guards and inmates safe.

While efforts to make prisons safer are a good thing, the private prison industry is growing at an alarming rate.

This means that current workplace violence and injuries will likely increase dramatically in the coming years.

Statistics show that the inmate housed in private prisons increased by 37% between 2002 and 2009. The largest prison corporation in the United States owns and operates 66 prisons and brings in $1.7 billion in total revenue.

The second largest private prison corporation in the United States brought in $1.6 billion in total revenue in 2011 and operates 65 total correctional facilities in the United States.

The private prison industry is already a substantial size and it will likely continue to grow over the coming years. Over the last 20 years the largest private prison corporation saw its profits increase by more than 500%.

And the prison industry has very deep pockets and knows how to lobby. The three largest prison corporations have spent over $45 million on campaign donations and lobbyist. These moves have kept politicians on the side of privatized incarceration which further ensures the continued growth of the industry.

Contact our Carolina worker’s compensation attorneys today by calling 800-887-1965.

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