The Lockup Lobby

Over the past two decades, America's prison population quadrupled, creating a $50 billion corrections industry that houses two million inmates. "That's bigger than tobacco," notes American RadioWorks correspondent John Biewen. "The crackdown on crime has enriched corporations that build prisons or sell products to them, prison guard unions, and police departments that use budget-fattening incentives to pursue drug criminals." Biewen examines the role of the American Legislative Exchange Council and other political pressure groups that help keep the "prison-industrial complex" profitable by lobbying for longer jail terms and stricter sentencing guidelines.