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Okay, not your everyday ethics question, but one that I think might be deserving of discussion.

While reading up on our prison systems for my class, I discovered that there are three publicly traded private prisons in the United States. Corrections Corporation of America, The GEO Group,Inc., and Cornell Correctional Companies. Here is where I think the ethical issue of publicly traded prisons comes in:

If the mission of a publicly is to make money for it's shareholders. And that company gets paid on a per inmate basis, would it not be in the interest of the company to not let inmates out of prison early? And could that not lead to corruption in the reporting of an inmates actions in order to keep them from being eligible early release or parole?

Can a publicly traded company that runs private prisons be trusted to treat inmates in a purely objective way when there is a possibility that they lose money if the inmates are realeased early?

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