Thursday, September 19, 2013, 6:44 pmDoes anything say free enterprise like forcing states to fill prison beds or else pay for empty ones?
Privatizing profits, socializing losses and ruining lives, all at the same time! A new study by InThePublicInterest.org shows that for-profit prisons pad their bottom lines by negotiating sweet deals to guarantee payments for a certain number of beds, whether or not there are actually prisoners in those beds. That gives states an incentive to send prisoners to these for-profit concerns while leaving state facilities to languish. It should come as no surprise to anyone that these sweetheart deals are negotiated in red states.
From the report: Arizona, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Virginia are locked in contracts with the highest occupancy guarantee requirements, with all quotas requiring between 95% and 100% occupancy. Arizona is one of the worst. In Arizona, they bilk taxpayers through quotas AND increased costs per prisoner.
Arizona: Three Arizona for-profit prison contracts have a staggering 100% quota, even though a 2012 analysis from Tucson Citizen shows that the company's per-day charge for each prisoner has increased an average of 13.9% over the life of the contracts. Of course, this means there are incentives for states to shovel people into prison, too. Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) donates millions to the Republican Governors Association to elect governors friendly to their business model