This, from Think Progress, nails it: private prisons spent just $45 million in
bribes lobbying expenses, and netted over $5 billion just for detaining immigrants alone. Short answer to "what are WE all doing wrong?" is quite simple: playing by an outdated set of rules called "fairness" and what used to be known as "the rules" or "the law." Fuck that. Among the bribes lobbying are efforts to have legislatures pass harsher sentences to increase private prison profits. Ain't America grand?
America is now a simple game: unless you want to be left behind with the rubes and suckers of the 99%, you have to bribe the powerful and connected for your own advantage: "capitalism" that involves "competing" in "the market" is for suckers... capitalism that involves guaranteed profits by selling services that should only be done by government to government (at profit and mark-up)... is where it's at.
Yes, you are correct: this IS how banana republics operate.
And your point is?