Citizen's Guide to Private Prisons

Paul S. Leighton, Eastern Michigan University
Donna Killingbeck, Eastern Michigan University

As America's imprisonment binge continues, more communities are considering entering into a contract with a private prison. This paper reviews the literature on cost savings and details the overhead costs of private prisons. We discuss performance measures, including recidivism, escapes and lawsuits. Community concerns about accountability and disclosure are discussed, along with details of how the corporate interest and public good conflict.

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Updated 05/20/2006