The Justice Department plans to end its use of private prisons after officials concluded the facilities are both less safe and less effective at providing correctional services than those run by the government.
Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates announced the decision on Thursday in a memo that instructs officials to either decline to renew the contracts for private prison operators when they expire or “substantially reduce” the contracts’ scope. The goal, Yates wrote, is “reducing — and ultimately ending — our use of privately operated prisons.”
“They simply do not provide the same level of correctional services, programs, and resources; they do not save substantially on costs; and as noted in a recent report by the Department’s Office of Inspector General, they do not maintain the same level of safety and security,” Yates wrote.
In addition to selling off state properties in an effort to balance its budget, Arizona is expanding its contracts with private prison companies, ostensibly to save money. After a 2009 effort to privatize most of the state’s prison system didn’t pan out, Arizona officials issued a request for proposals seeking 5,000 more private prison beds. Four companies responded, although no action is being taken until after the state finishes a report on a comparison of public and private prisons. Arizona already houses around 6,000 of its 40,000 prisoners in privately-operated facilities.
In Florida, the use of lease revenue bonds to finance prison construction “has obscured both the near- and long-term costs of failing to make needed policy changes.” That was the main conclusion drawn in an April 2011 report titled “A Billion Dollars and Growing: Why Prison Bonding is Tougher on Florida’s Taxpayers Than on Crime,” by the Collins Center on Public Policy and Florida Tax Watch.
Florida’s prison population has grown from 20,000 prisoners in the 1980s to 102,000 in 2010. Over that same time period the cost to Florida taxpayers to fund the state’s prison system has ballooned from $169 million to $2.4 billion annually.
Privatisation is basically kicking the can down the road a ways.
Our current govt is selling us out here as well.
Try reading the link. I'll get back to you when I can.
Would you like me to read that back to you slowly?