Study funded by private prison dollars praises private prisons; no comment, says public university

Thursday, January 9, 2014 - 08:00

 

 

 

 

Photos from inside the East Mississippi Correctional Facility show burn marks and bloody cell floors.<https://www.aclu.org/prisoners-rights/tour-east-mississippi-correctional-facility>

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Study funded by private prison dollars praises private prisons; no comment, says public university

BY MATT STROUD

(From In These Times, Jan 9, 2014)

In April of last year, Temple University -- one of four "state-related" universities in Pennsylvania that receives millions in public funding every year -- revealed in a press release that researchers from its Center for Competitive Government had made surprising findings about the costs and benefits of private prisons. They found, for example, that governments will experience "long-run savings of 12 percent to 58 percent when comparing private and public" prison facilities, and that private prisons "generate significant savings without sacrificing quality." This was noteworthy, since previous research has tended to find no data supporting those conclusions at all. The U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance, for example, found that cost savings of private prisons are virtually nonexistant, and that the real benefit of private prisons is in threatening government administrators to use them: "the mere prospect of privatization had a positive effect on [public] prison adminstration, making it more responsive to reform." A 2011 New York Times report made similar conclusions, based on an Arizona auditor general's report finding that "it may be more costly to house inmates in private prisons” than in state-run prisons.

Read the full story here.