Now that the U.S. manufactures very little that is tangible, government and private funding are flowing into the the imprisonment, surveillance, warfare, security, and low-level harassment industries.
BERLIN, N.H. — Mike Secinore is pinning his hopes on prison.
Fresh with a criminal justice degree from the local community college, the 20-year-old Berlin native plans to apply for a corrections officer job at the federal prison expected to open in the city next summer.
There aren’t many options in this northern region of New Hampshire, where major employers have closed their doors in recent years and further unemployment woes beckon if the last surviving paper mill shuts down this week, letting 240 workers go.
“I’m really wanting to have a career, not just a job,” said Secinore, who recently lost a counter position at an auto parts store. He worked there for five years, coping with a wage freeze and a cut in hours. “I really need something where I’m going to make money.”
Although rural communities have successfully lobbied for — and built — prisons for years, not many studies have been done on their economic impact. Some studies indicate slight economic gains for some prison towns, according to a Congressional Research Service report in April. Others that have become prison anchors might have not grown as fast as those without prisons.
Florence, Colo., where a federal prison complex went up in 1994, was once a major oil producer and gold-smelting center and now has some new businesses. New federal prisons have recently started hiring in West Virginia, which has seen a decline in coal jobs, and in an impoverished farming community in California. Others are being built in Mississippi and Alabama.
Read more at the Associated Press.