The rise of the private prison system is a case of money in politics corruption at its most terrifying. Companies with a direct financial incentive to lock up Americans shower lawmakers with campaign contributions and lobbyists in order to ensure harsher laws and even secure contracts that guarantee them a certain number of inmates. Over the past 10 years, three of the biggest private prison corporations have donated more than $6 million to state politicians, and spent more than $45 million lobbying. The industry has been rewarded with $5.1 billion in contracts. John Oliver and some musical accompaniment took to the airwaves to voice his disgust with the corrupt practices that lead to the highest incarceration rate in the world.
You can learn more about the growth of private prisons (and their lobbying efforts) here.