Private Prisons Found to Offer Little in Savings

The conviction that private prisons save money helped drive more than 30 states to turn to them for housing inmates. But Arizona shows that popular wisdom might be wrong: Data there suggest that privately operated prisons can cost more to operate than state-run prisons — even though they often steer clear of the sickest, costliest inmates. Full Story »

Posted by Seth Roberts Farber - via David Carr, New York Times (Most Emailed), Randy Benson (t), Ray Nichols (t), Wil Kristin (t)
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Subjects: U.S., Business
Topics: Prisons
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Posted by: Posted by Seth Roberts Farber - May 18, 2011 - 8:24 PM PDT
Content Type: Article
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Edited by: Seth Roberts Farber - May 19, 2011 - 6:15 AM PDT

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Seth Roberts Farber
3.3
by Seth Roberts Farber - May. 19, 2011

Government deficits have been a hot topic lately, so any context or nuance that can enlighten that discussion should be greatly appreciated. This article is a decent start, using the private prison industry as a case study to question the oft-accepted premise that private enterprise is always more effective than government. However, there are a few major holes in the article's portrayal of private corrections corporations and their role in state detention policy. Given that the bulk of the data used in this article comes from Arizona, I am surprised and disappointed that the author failed to mention the massive investment that private prison companies made last year in lobbying for the state's controversial anti-immigrant legislation.

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