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Most Profitable Industries Related to Mass Incarceration

By    |   Tuesday, 26 May 2015 04:52 PM

Federal, state, and local prisons and jails are housing record numbers of inmates, and this mass incarceration feeds high salaries to a number of ancillary businesses.

Mental health experts are critical components of rehabilitation efforts,and with the high demand for correctional psychologists comes salaries that aren't quite on par with private practice salaries.

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The U.S. national average for a psychologist's annual pay is $88,230 annually, Salary.com reported. For those who work directly in correctional facilities, Simply Hired reported the average salary to be around $57,000.

Psychologists in this field can focus on a wide-range of specialties including individual and group therapy sessions, drug treatment, and crisis intervention, the American Psychological Association said. The APA pointed out that on this career track, psychologists work with a "highly diverse, underserved population," and prisons are always looking for more mental health experts.

"It’s very clinically challenging and extremely interesting work… You have to be at the top of your game to figure out what is really going on for these people and how to best help them," Alix McLearen, Ph.D., told the APA.

While politicians and organizations debate the effects of mass incarceration, research and statistics are crucial to understanding policy implications. Policy analysts often conduct studies and write reports surrounding specific issues.

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As with any job, and especially in the world of lobbying organizations and politics, salaries for this profession vary greatly depending on the prestige and success of an individual’s corporation. Nonetheless, policy analysts in general are paid well.

Glassdoor highlighted the range of salaries from $57,000 to over $100,000 for researchers at various companies.

Administrators are important to the prison industry, particularly in parts of the country where running prisons has been contracted to private industry. Oftentimes called wardens, prison administrators oversee all aspects of prison life – from recreational programs to inmate care to managing staff.

The average annual salary for “correctional officers and jailers” is around $45,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, salaries can be even larger depending on the prison size and location. Indeed.com lists job openings for Correctional Institution Administrations paying close to $90,000.

The big money also extends to the companies that contract to run prisons. "About 18 corporations guard 10,000 prisoners in 27 states," wrote Global Research in 2014. "The two largest are Correctional Corporation of America (CCA) and Wackenhut, which together control 75%."

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Federal, state, and local prisons and jails are housing record numbers of inmates, and this mass incarceration feeds high salaries to a number of ancillary businesses.
mass, incarceration, prison, industry
Tuesday, 26 May 2015 04:52 PM
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