Many governments have signed contracts with corporations that contain “prison-bed occupancy guarantee” clauses, a group called In the Public Interest reported. These lockup clauses obligate the governments to keep between 80% and 100% of prison beds full even if the crime rate is falling. Once again, we see a complete disregard of constitutional rights.
If the governments don’t maintain the specified number of people behind bars, they have to pay penalties to the companies that operate private prisons. The state of Colorado paid $2 million to companies because the rate of crime and the number of convicts in the state fell by a third in the last 10 years.