Snippets of History: Before founding the Corrections Corporation of America, a $1.8 billion private prison corporation now known as CoreCivic, Terrell Don Hutto ran a cotton plantation the size of Manhattan: There, mostly black convicts were forced to pick cotton from dawn to dusk for no pay #AceHistoryDesk

#AceHistoryReport – May.26: It was 1967 and the Beatles’ “All you need is love” was a hit, but the men in the fields sang songs with lyrics like “Old Master don’t you whip me, I’ll give you half a dollar.” Hutto’s family lived on the plantation and even had a “house boy,” an unpaid convict who served them.”
Inmates at Louisiana State Prison in Angola, La., march down a dusty trail on May 30, 1977, en route to working in the fields.

At the time, most prisons in the South were plantations. In some states, certain inmates were given guns and even whips, and empowered to torture those who didn’t meet labor quotas: Hutto did such a good job in Texas that Arkansas would hire him to run their entire prison system–made entirely of plantations–which he would run at a profit to the state. His ability to run a prison that put money into state coffers would later attract the attention of two businessmen with a new idea: to found a corporation that would run prisons and sell shares on the stock market.”

Prisons had been privatized before. Louisiana first privatised its penitentiary in 1844, just nine years after it opened: The company, McHatton, Pratt, and Ward ran it as a factory, using inmates to produce cheap clothes for enslaved people. One prisoner wrote in his memoir that, as soon as the prison was privatized, his jailers “laid aside all objects of reformation and re-instated the most cruel tyranny, to eke out the dollar and cents of human misery.” Much like CoreCivic’s shareholder reports today, Louisiana’s annual penitentiary reports from the time give no information about prison violence, rehabilitation efforts, or anything about security. Instead, they deal almost exclusively with the profitability of the prison.

“Like private prisons today, profit rather than rehabilitation was the guiding principle of early penitentiaries throughout the South. “If a profit of several thousand dollars can be made on the labor of twenty slaves,” posited the Telegraph and Texas Register in the mid-19th century, “why may not a similar profit be made on the labor of twenty convicts?”

The head of a Texas jail suggested the state open a penitentiary as an instrument of Southern industrialization, allowing the state to push against the “over-grown monopolies” of the North: Five years after Texas opened its first penitentiary, it was the state’s largest factory. It quickly became the main Southern supplier of textiles west of the Mississippi.”

#AceTelegramDesk report ……….Published: May.26: 2019: Read More Here:

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