Two unlikely bedfellows are considering a partnership that would buoy their respective floats. Carnival Cruise Lines and GEO Group, a private prison operator, have both weathered unfavorable conditions over the last 18 months due to Covid-19 and newly effective White House Policy, respectively. They are hoping a joint venture is the stopgap measure that will add stability to their operations.
“When our ships are idle offshore, they are basically floating prisons anyway,” said a Carnival spokesperson. “The crew can’t go anywhere, we feed them only what they need to survive, and pay a sub-minimum wage since we provide food and housing. So it’s not a difficult transition to just go full-on prison mode.”
The early concept, at its core, is to transfer prisoners to the cell-like interior cabins of idle cruise liners to cut costs of incarceration operations, while simultaneously raising the floor of Carnival’s revenue hit. Normally disruptive occurrences such as viral outbreaks and plumbing backups won’t rock the boat quite as much, so to speak, as these are commonplace on land-based facilities.
Speaking under conditions of anonymity, one warden told us “we’re really looking forward to boosting staff morale with access to the water slide and rock wall. For the inmates, it’ll be like home away from home. Nowhere to go, staring at the horizon, the same day on repeat. It’ll be great!”
Asked about what the future would hold when cruises resume normal operations, the spokesperson replied, “LOL.”