Sep 25 2013

How Private Prisons Make Money Even When Crime Rates Fall

Feature Stories | Published 25 Sep 2013, 10:02 am | Comments Off on How Private Prisons Make Money Even When Crime Rates Fall -

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How is it that the American private prison industry is booming even though crime rates are falling nationwide? The answer to that question may shock you. It turns out that the two major corporations that run the majority of private prisons in the US, Geo Corporation and Corrections Corporation of America, often require states to sign contracts that guarantee full or nearly full occupancy.

That means that even if there aren’t enough prisoners to fill beds, states who sign such contracts have to hand over tax payers money to Geo and CCA for those empty beds. The incentives to keep warm bodies on prison beds is then legally built into the fine print, undermining attempts to reduce crime and reduce the number of people we lock up. It turns out what’s good for GEO and CCA’s bottom line is not good for society.

GUEST: Donald Cohen, Executive Director of the group, In the Public Interest, which just authored a report calling out the practice of occupancy quotas in private prisons, called Criminal: How Lockup Quotas and “Low-Crime Taxes” Guarantee Profits for Private Prison Corporations

Click here to read the report on private prisons.

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