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Escape Plan & the Danger of For Profit Prisons

I enjoyed Escape Plan more than I expected. Considering the lead actors I expected far more explosions, but this felt more like a classic action film.

Escape Plan – Premise – For Profit Prisons (Spoiler alert):

Stallone is a highly paid specialist in breaking out of jails – think Robert Redford from Sneakers, but he breaks out of prisons instead of into banks. Arnold plays some guy you don’t know about until the end (I won’t spoil that) but he’s a pretty smart guy too. The two find themselves incarcerated in what is touted as the world’s most secure prison and team up to break out. It’s a high-tech jail system fit with glass cells, motion sensors, the works, built inside the belly of one of those massive tankers that ship oil from one corner of the world to another. Even if they could escape from the cell block, they’d be on a massive tanker boat in the middle of no where – swimming wouldn’t be an option. Oh, and the boat jail is owned and operated by a privately funded, for profit prison contractor and is operated by a bunch of maniacal private security contractors – ex-Blackwater types.

So. For today’s “Is This Just a Theory?” conspiracy discussion:

What if this was a true story?

A jail-boat, built in complete secrecy, illegal in operation, released from a port and sailed to international waters off the coast of Morocco. So far, no problems, all doable. Owned by a well financed military contractor (pick one: Blackwater? Halliburton? GE?) which means some extremely wealthy backers. For-profit prisons mean maximizing profits, which means no cell left empty – empty cells loose money.  A privatized, for-profit Guantanamo Bay.

If this was to be a true story, the following would need to exist:

  • A private contractor willing to run a for profit prisons. EXISTS (here and here)
  • Very wealthy individuals willing to earn a profit over the incarceration of individuals. EXISTS
  • Access to ongoing capital to keep the for profit prison running. Federal prison systems can of course lease some cells (to deal with over-crowding of those pesky government-run prisons) which turns prisoners in to profitable assets. Already EXISTS
  • The more dangerous or resourceful the captor, the more attention they’d need, thus a higher price/head – that’s just GOOD CAPITALISM
  • Governments would tout this as a cost saving by handing the storage of these individuals to a specialist organization who, like all profit-focused corporations bury whole-product costs to give the illusion of increased returns. EXISTS
  • At least some of the prisoners are here without trail, jury, or sentencing. EXISTS
  • Federal Bureau of Prisons would be willing to privatize some of their responsibilities.  EXISTS


So we give it a THUMBS UP! This movie COULD be based on a true story, thanks be to Sept. 11 and all the maniacal changes it successfully brought about.

The beauty of it is we, the people’s taxes, would be funding it.

What’s a logical, for profit outcome of for-profit prisons?

  • The jails loose money if empty, so reasons to incarcerate will always exist and The System would change the rules to ensure a full tank.
  • This would encourage a need to create prisoners (entrapment, black ops, terrorist detention, whistle blowers, anyone The System wants to keep out of their way). Creating a flexible definition of “requirements” to incarcerate an individual (that is, what one must do to be detained here would be effectively made up) allows a never ending stream of product (prisoners) Throw some troublesome activists in there for good measure.
  • If successful, they could franchise and expand, increasing our net value and profitability, provided we were supplied a regular number of prisoners
  • Vertical Integration Bonus: Some prisoners would have no public record of their arrest (or lack of trial), or therefore any escape or release papers. The System could rotate criminals through the jail as and when they’re needed. Prisoners would have value beyond just the profit – they could “escape” or be used as bait, snitches, patsies, or suicide bombers. They would be slaves – no rights and completely owned by The System, to be done with as The System wishes. If The System currently owns the terror, they now own the terrorists.

Final Analysis:

If this was a true story, and it capitalism remains focused on profit-above-all, to maximize value in the investments made, I would:

  • Finance the construction of the boat to military contractors which I happen to be a major shareholder of – using tax-payers money of course, under the Federal Bureau of Jails etc.
  • I would then fill it with all the undesirables the various client’s host countries capture and pay for.
  • I’d leave a few cells for the people that aren’t on the books – these would be the true slaves as no one would officially know they are here. We know black ops go on around the world, we know more and more of them are using private contractors – ex-military, highly skilled and paid mercenaries.
  • The guys in jail wouldn’t be hard to torture and brainwash to make them do naughty things as compartmentalization would ensure the criminal thought he was doing something he (or she) supported – for Allah, or Jesus, or Money, or Honour, whatever turned his (or her) crank.

You’d save the costs of sourcing criminals to do your dirty work – you’d already have hundreds to choose from, and their freedom is the carrot.

Spooky, but it makes you think.

This shit could be just around the corner, the way the countries are militarizing and privatizing their police and military, Canada included.

What would stop it? Nothing as long as profit is the motivator… people are just greedy enough to think this is a good idea.

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