I had been hoping to write some witty entry perfectly capturing the craziness that Bob Ortega has been covering in Arizona. A little background; the state is seeking proposals for 5,000 new private prison beds (which is a step back from last year's plan to privatize the entire state system and sell off then re-lease the state house. I wish I was kidding about that.), despite the problems its private prisons have had for their entire history and recent reports showing they don't even save money, and could in fact wind up costing the state more.
So the state has been seeking suitors to build a bunch of new private prison beds, and thankfully has set up multiple public hearings to air the situation out. Bob Ortega, a reporter at the Arizona Republic, has done some fantastic reporting recently on the histories of the companies bidding for these beds, and the public hearings to discuss the potential risks and benefits of bringing private prisons to towns.
So rather than try to steal his thunder, I'm just going to link to his fabulous work.
First is a story about the lack of oversight of the industry, and its failure to deliver on promises of cost-savings while being incapable of running a secure facility.
Next is a great piece on the sordid history of the GEO Group, the second-largest private prison company in the world.
He also of course couldn't resist delving into the illustrious track record of CCA.
Then today he released two articles, the first of which goes into MTC's also pathetic history.
The second discusses one of those public meetings, at which officials for the GEO Group found strong opposition from the citizens of Goodyear, Arizona.