Yes, that's right, a crime initiative. The owners and operators of private prisons, having invested millions in their product, secure prisons and attendant paraphernalia - guards, weapons, greasy food, etc - are watching a downturn in their bottom line, as States are turning to alternatives to incarceration for lower level offenses.
"This is really messing with our service!" complained one prison CEO, Thad "Bad Dude" Higgenbothom of Selma Alabama. "We have prisons in thirty two states, and 12 of them so far are setting our prisoners free, or into half-way houses in local communities. If any more states adopt these policies of coddling criminals, we'll be up s*#t creek."
Higgenbothom outlined a two pronged approach the prison industry is putting into play to protect their assets.
"One, we ramp up our lobbying and PAC efforts. That's a no-brainer. Rile up the populace and put pressure on the legislatures to resist soft on crime measures the liberals want; then we vote the molly-coddlers out of office. And two, we get pro-active. We send operatives out into the field, so to speak, and gin up the crime."
When pressed on exactly what he meant by that, an only slightly reluctant Higgenbothom explained that what he meant was his guys would go undercover and push drugs on low income communities, especially the "ones of color; they're suckers for the stuff," then they'd sit back and watch the crime rise.
"After we get rid of the do-gooders and social workers, we make sure States put their money into our prisons not rehab and probation officers. Things ought to turn around for us within a couple of years, once we get the program off the ground."
Answering questions coming fast and furious on the well-known cost savings of alternatives to incarceration compared with private prisons, Higgenbothom only said, "Balderdash!"
When one reporter followed Higgenbothom out to the parking lot and attempted to get a quote on recidivism, she was met with by security personnel in full body armor carrying AR 15s.
"They scared me," said the subdued woman into the channel 5 camera, as the Lincoln roared off in the background. "I'm giving up journalism and going to go into my father's grocery business. I hear he can get a good contract with the new prison being built on Highway 12."