Thursday, April 14, 2011

New Report Finds No Economic Benefits

Private prison operators are often very successful at pitching their facilities in small and rural towns by describing all the wonderful economic benefits the private prison will bring. They talk about tax revenue from the facility, jobs provided by the private contractor, and the secondary economic benefits of having more wage earners in town, and coming into town to work. Turns out that's all a big load of crap.

Back in 2004, researchers at Washington State University came out with a report debunking many of these claims. Their report found "no evidence that prison expansion has stimulated economic growth,” and that bringing private prisons to town actually impedes economic growth.

They followed up this report with another that came out late last year, re-affirming the findings of the original report. The researchers found that not only is economic growth hindered by bringing a private prison to town, but “a negative relationship [exists] between the growth of new prisons and growth in private employment"

So private prisons actually COST small, struggling towns jobs. They drive business out of town, fail to live up to contracts, and don't save money. There is literally no good reason to privatize a prison, ever.

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