Friday, February 24, 2012

PA Says NO to Private Prisons

Another quick link here.  Pennsylvania is one of many states that has seen an explosion in its prison population, and the prison budget, over the past few decades, largely as a result of the government's push to become "tough on crime."  The wave of legislation that has dramatically increased our prison population to the point where it is grotesquely out of accord with anything resembling common sense, or anything seen anywhere else in the world, was actually largely the product of the private prison industry's work through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to draft and promote 3-strikes laws, mandatory minimums, and "truth-in-sentencing" legislation.  But that's a different story altogether.  Suffice it to say, they spent decades passing tougher criminal statutes, and are now planning to reap the financial rewards of locking up millions of people as they try to encourage states to give them their prisoners.  Thankfully, Pennsylvania is standing tall against the onslaught of privatization; Governor Corbett proposed a budget that won't increase spending for the state DOC, and a DOC spokeswoman recently said the state was not considering privatizing part of the prison system.  Bravo, Keystone State!


  1. That's because private companies can do it for so much cheaper then the state.

    1. Jeff, will all due respect your comment is ill informed. Multiple studies have shown that private firms are not more efficient. One notable study performed by the Arizona Department of Corrections in 2009 found that on average an inmate in a private prisons costs up to $1600 a year more, than their public counterparts. Also, the top two private prison firms in the US, CCA and GEO Group have often been cited for cutting costs in staffing, medical and rehabilitation services, while garnering millions pf dollars a year in profits. I do not call that more efficient or cheaper. The free market is not the answer when it comes to prisons.

    2. Explain clearfield's a private prison run by a Texas company......