While there are many industries in the United States that may possibly benefit from the use of privatization, the prison industry is not one of them. The prison industrial complex is a very real problem in our nation and one that has pushed the United States to have the highest incarceration rate of any nation in the world. Generally, when an industry is privatized, the public can expect the production levels of that industry to increase. However, when the product of the industry is something that is socially undesirable, then privatization can ultimately have the potential to produce socially damaging consequences. When the product of the private prison industry is incarcerated individuals, it should be unsurprising to see that privatization has correlated with a direct increase in incarceration rates. When the owner of a private prison needs to fill the prison in order to ensure a profit, then the owner will be directly motivated to ensure that there is a constant stream of new inmates. The worst thing that could happen to this owner, it seems, would be if people stopped committing crimes. Consequently, the owners of these private prisons have every economic incentive to ensure as many things are considered to be crimes and as many people are considered to be criminals as possible. Treating prisons as for-profit businesses has seemed to have had profoundly negative effects on the American public. Despite the fact that violent crime rates in the United States have been decreasing over the past two decades, the number of individuals who are incarcerated has been continually increasing. Private prisons demand the use of imprisonment for non-violent offenses and also demand the use of longer sentences. In an ideal world, nobody would have to go to prison. Though such a world does not yet appear to be possible, it still seems that sending someone to prison is socially undesirable and should only be done when absolutely necessary. The private prison industry doesn’t consider the use of imprisonment to be a necessary evil—instead, the industry has continually demonstrated it views constant incarceration as an absolute necessity. As long as private prisons are doing everything they can to incarcerate the masses, our beloved mantra “the land of the free” will be nothing more than vanity.