Prison Privatization

News Article

Judith Greene debates Reason Foundation's Adrian Moore on prison privatization

Judith Greene debates Adrian Moore, director of the Reason Foundation's Public Policy Institute, in a Corrections Connection forum on prison privatization. Click here to listen online.


JS Publication February 23, 2005

Cost-Saving or Cost-Shifting: The Fiscal Impact of Prison Privatization in Arizona

Arizona policymakers responded to claims that significant cost-saving have been achieved through privatization by nearly tripling the number of state-contracted beds. But Justice Strategies' analysis finds that these claims are based on flawed, outdated research that failed to address critical factors including population differences and the cost of financing.

Justice Strategies analysis finds cost-saving claims based on flawed, outdated research.

Arizona's corrections budget has doubled over the last fifteen years, placing a tremendous burden on taxpayers and on the families of state university students. Despite the growth in corrections spending, however, the state prison system remains underfunded and dangerously overcrowded.

Arizona's corrections crisis has led many to call for an overhaul of the state's sentencing system, which packs state prisons with non-violent substance abusers who make up half of all prisoners. Others argue that privatization is the answer to the state's prison woes because private companies can operate prisons at lower cost and finance new prisons the state cannot afford. Read more »

JS Publication October 1, 2004

From Abu Ghraib to America

Since the infamous photos of abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq first came to light, much has been said about the role that the U.S. military and CIA have played in connection with the human rights violations. But reports of similar abuse in the United States are all too common, which suggests that America's dehumanizing prison culture has now been exported elsewhere in the world.

In the October 2004 issue of The Open Society Institute's Ideas for an Open Society, Justice Strategies policy analyst Judith Greene explores how the "cruel but usual methods of control used by many U.S. prison personnel" are reflected in the abuses at Abu Ghraibl. Greene argues that what is ultimately needed is "a thorough overhaul of the harsh sentencing laws and policies that have driven the prison system to this unmanageable scale."

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