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Report takes aim at 'treatment industrial complex'

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A guard keeps a careful watch as inmates at private prison contractor Corrections Corporation of America's Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy file in small groups through the facility's chow hall on March 10, 2009.

A new study purports to show the expansion of private-prison firms into areas of medical and other treatment for incarcerated people.

The American Friends Service Committee, Grassroots Leadership and Southern Center for Human Rights released the report Tuesday titled "Treatment Industrial Complex: How for-profit Corporations are Undermining Efforts to Treat and Rehabilitate Prisoners for Corporate Gain."

The report says many of the companies traditionally involved in operating for-profit prisons have begun to "profit from providing treatment-oriented programs and services."

The report says companies involved in the so-called "treatment industrial complex" have capitalized on state and federal efforts seeking alternatives to incarceration such as reforming sentencing laws and expanded parole possibilities.

Authors of the report noted the incarcerated population in the United States has grown more than 500 percent since the 1980's - to more than 2.2 million people behind bars.

Get the full report here.

Contact reporter Patrick McNamara at 573-4241 or On Twitter @pm929.

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