In the rehab capital of America, addicts are bought, sold, and stolen for their insurance policies, and many women are coerced into sex. […]
The people targeting them are variously called â€œmarketers,â€ â€œbody brokers,â€ and even â€œjunkie hunters.â€ They know addicts better than anyone (and many used to be addicts themselves). They spot kids dragging suitcases along the road and ask them if they need a place to go. […]
In South Floridaâ€™s Delray Beach, home to hundreds of rehab facilities and halfway houses, scams abound to profit off of addicts and their insurance policies. The recent uptick in addicts adds energy to the hurricane, but the biggest driving force for the fraud is Obamacare and the 2008 Parity Act, which together give everyone access to private insurance thatâ€™s legally bound to pay for rehab. â€œMarketersâ€ act like headhunters, picking up addicts when theyâ€™re down, then bringing them to rehab centers and halfway houses for a fee â€” usually about $500 per head.
While state and federal prison statistics show a recent decline in the number of Americans who are behind bars, there are still roughly 5 million people under correctional supervision. Many more are in rehab and mental-health hospitals, while hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants are shuffled through detention centers â€“ potentially big markets for private facilities. So the correctional industry is diversifying. â€œThe scope of how big this is hasnâ€™t even been anywhere near made clear,â€ says Caroline Isaacs, who closely tracks the private-prison industry for the American Friends Service Committee, an advocacy group that opposes corrections privatization. […]
Though the services may be evolving, the concerns remain much the same. As with many for-profit entities, the top priority is the bottom line, which is often at odds with the purpose of community corrections. Rehabilitation â€“ whether in a prison or half-way house â€“ is not typically in the operatorâ€™s best interest, because that means fewer clients.