Friday, April 16, 2010

Private Prisons are Risky Investments

The town of Littlefield, Texas is suffering the repurcussions of funding a private prison on a bond venture. The GEO Group cancelled its contract to run the facility in January of last year, and the town has not been able to secure a new contract to bring prisoners in. Because the facility there has sat empty for so long, the bonds used to finance it have dropped in value. So now Littlfield becomes a higher investment risk, meaning future bonds investments will likely cost more. This is another unforeseen consequence of bringing a private prison to town; people get so excited by the prospects of new jobs that they fail to think about what might happen when the private prison company leaves town. So the next time you hear about all the economic benefits that come with a private prison, take that advice with more than a grain of salt.

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