In the early 1970s, the prison population in the United States was small and was steadily falling relative to the size of the population. Experts imagined that in a few decades, the prison system as we know it could be successfully dismantled, but that began to change after President Nixon began the War on Drugs in 1971, resulting in a huge influx of convicts.
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The massive increase in prisoners has given rise to what some call the Prison Industrial Complex. Like its cousin, the Military Industrial Complex, government policy and spending continues to make private involvement in the prison system very lucrative. Taxpayer money is transferred to corporations to satisfy the increasing number of prisoners as a result of the drug war. Activist Post