The Colbert Report

Season 5 Episode 140

Andrew Sullivan

Aired Weekdays 11:30 PM Nov 03, 2009 on Comedy Central
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Andrew Sullivan
Tonight Stephen welcomes political commentator Andrew Sullivan.
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      • Stephen: Tonight: America's jails are overcrowded. How can we make our prisoners more stackable. Then: I seek justice in Salt Lake City. I think it's racist that there's no Pepper Lake City. And Andrew Sullivan is here one year after the election to talk about all of Obama's accomplishments, besides his creation of Glenn Beck. Mayor Bloomberg, congratulations on another term sir, unless you lost, in which case I never liked you. This is the Colbert Report.

      • Stephen: But that is a way to fix out prisons and fix our economy and it brings us to tonight's Word: The Green Mile. Folks, the state of Arizona is facing bankruptcy. (But it's a dry bankruptcy) So to help with their budget shortfall they've come up with a novel solution.

        [Video: Jane Velez-Mitchell: State officials are going to extremes, they're selling the justice system. That's right, to the highest bidder. They're privatizing Arizona's prisons.]

        Stephen: That's right! Arizona intends to sell 9 of the state's 10 prisons to private companies. I assume they get the 10th prison when they complete their Quiznos punchcard. (mmmm….Guilty!) The companies will charge the state per inmate and then split the profits with the state. (The Shawshank Transaction) Now not only will this bail out the state it will make for better jails. We know private enterprise does everything more efficiently. Remember, Enron transformed the power grid. (Into the power "gridn't) And Blackwater redefined military service. (By removing "military" and "service") And KBR reinvented military contracting. (And invented the "electric shower") And this same spirit of privatization can revitalize America's prison economy, just look at Pennsylvania Judge Mark Ciavarella. He sent 6500 kids to juvenile detention in just 5 years, ridding our streets of dangerous youths at the rate of 5 a day. (aka, a "half-Gosselin") He was so efficient, because unlike other judges who are motivated merely by the rule of law, Judge Ciavarella was motivated by millions of dollars he received under the table from a for profit prison in return for sentencing kids to juvenile detention. Folks, that's not a bribe, I'd call that a justice bonus. (Innocent till proven profitable)

        But Arizona has even Judge Ciavarella beat. They aren't just privatizing their prisons, they're privatizing death row. Finally, and with the efficiency of private enterprise, just think of how many people we'll be able to execute. (Fry one, get one free) Of course they will all be guilty. Now the mercy huggers out there are going to say: I don't want these private companies running death row in my name. Well they won't. They'll be running it in the name of their shareholders. (Buy low, cell mate) But there is one flaw, just one flaw in Arizona's plan, the prisons will be efficient, but he supply of prisoners will not be because standing between a defendant and his rightful incarceration will be government bureaucrats like judges and juries. (Justice panels) That's why we have got to privative the entire criminal justice system folks. Nothing will motivate the police like arresting on commission. ("What's it going to take to get you into this cell?") The prison lobby already fights for tougher sentences to fill their beds, just let them write the laws and we'll cut out the middle man. (And then execute him) So other states, follow Arizona's lead, let's replace the long arm of the law with the invisible hand of the market, then a prisoner will no longer be just a number, he'll be a number with a dollar sign in front of it. (The green mile)

        And that's the Word.

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    Season 5 Episodes

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    Mon, Nov 9, 2009
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    Ep 140
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    Ep 139
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    Mon, Nov 2, 2009
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