Daily News Clips

  • Issue #333

    August 29th, 2014

    Ivan Weiss

    The expanding world of poverty capitalism

    New York Times columnist Thomas B. Edsall

    Edsall

    In Orange County CA the probation department’s “supervised electronic confinement program,” which monitors the movements of low-risk offenders, has been outsourced to a private company, Sentinel Offender Services. The company, by its own account, oversees case management, including breath alcohol and drug-testing services, “all at no cost to county taxpayers.” Sentinel makes its money by getting the offenders on probation to pay for the company’s services. Charges can range from $35 to $100 a month. The company boasts of having contracts with more than 200 government agencies, and it takes pride in the “development of offender funded programs where any of our services can be provided at no cost to the agency.” Sentinel is a part of the expanding universe of poverty capitalism. In this unique sector of the economy, costs of essential government services are shifted to the poor. Thomas Edsall, New York Times, 8-26-14.


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