The Department of Justice and its contractor, Corrections Corporation of America, have been pushing the idea that prisons sell the sale of inmate sales in a bid to make up for the loss of sales in the previous year, when some states shut down for the year.
The push has been fueled by the growing demand for inmates in state prisons, which are among the largest employers in the United States.
Some analysts believe it’s a ploy to boost revenues, while others say the idea is ill-advised and the revenue will dry up in the years ahead.
The Department has been pushing for years to change the way it buys inmate sales and other commodities.
Now, it’s trying to shift the focus to selling the sale to state governments and others.
In a recent conference call with reporters, the department said the sale is “the most important economic activity in the country.”
The department estimates that the sale brings in about $10 billion annually for states.
It has sought to make the sale attractive by offering incentives to private companies, including offering the sale at discounts to taxpayers and letting taxpayers purchase shares of the company.
However, a recent report by the Tax Policy Center, a liberal-leaning think tank, found that such incentives are mostly meaningless.
The study found that taxpayers generally get a small tax break on sales and profits of up to 15 percent, while private companies receive a much larger tax break of as much as 25 percent.
And it found that while the government typically gets a higher tax rate on sales, private companies typically get a much lower rate.
The biggest winners from the sale, however, are the state governments.
As a result, the Department of Corrections has been lobbying states to buy its inmates.
And in recent months, it has started buying inmates’ supplies and selling them for profit, the latest move to address a problem that has plagued the nation’s prisons since they were opened more than 50 years ago.
The new approach to selling inmates’ sales has been the subject of criticism from some lawmakers who say the incentives are an unnecessary giveaway to private businesses.
“We need to make sure that taxpayer dollars aren’t going to go to private prisons,” said Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.).
“Prisoners need to be able to afford their medication and to be treated like any other American citizen.”
In recent months the department has been working with private companies to buy prison supplies and has offered discounts on the sale.
The sale, which is expected to cost taxpayers at least $10.2 billion, has been part of the department’s $2.6 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.
But it was not included in the budget released Friday by the House Appropriations Committee.
In fact, the budget did not include any revenue to pay for the sale even though it would have cost about $2 billion to make it a reality.
The department has proposed $8.8 billion in additional spending to help the nation deal with its prison problem, including $1.2 million for the purchase of about 4,000 private prison beds.
Prison officials have countered that the department should have included revenue to cover the purchase.
They have argued that the budget was intended to help states, and that the private companies would likely be unable to pay the full amount.
The budget includes $2 million to help with rehabilitation of inmates in federal prisons.
In recent years, prison officials have been struggling to make ends meet amid a prison population that has ballooned by more than 400,000 inmates, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
The federal government also has stepped in to provide housing for more inmates, but the department recently announced it would close a facility in Florida for a two-week stretch due to the overcrowding.
In response to growing inmate demand, states are offering incentives for private companies like CCA to buy their prisoners.
The administration has proposed a series of federal incentives, including incentives for companies like Wal-Mart to sell goods and services in the prison system and for the prison to purchase supplies for inmates.
CCA and its subsidiary, Corrections Corp., have also lobbied for federal and state governments to help finance their purchases of prisoners’ supplies.