By Michael Snyder How would you describe an industry that wants to put more Americans in prison and keep them there longer so that it can make more money? In America today, approximately 130,000 people are locked up in private prisons that are being run by for-profit companies, and that number is growing very rapidly.
Her name was Janie Porter. She was born just as the American Civil War came to a close. Growing up in Macon, Georgia, Janie was an exemplary student, eventually graduating with honors from Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute. Janie took her teaching degree seriously, accepting a position in rural Georgia. Five years later, she met and married Harris Barnett, a Virginia businessman.
Disturbed by the plight of African American children, who grew up in squalid conditions, often ending up in jail at the age of 7 or 8, Janie determined to do something about the problem, which she viewed as a moral crisis. She began a fund-raising campaign throughout the state of Virginia. The money was used to build what was then called “a home for wayward girls” – the Virginia Industrial School for Colored Girls. In today’s world, it would be referred to as a juvenile detention facility.