Wednesday, August 25, 2010
The perverse incentives of private prisons
August 24, 2010
Last week authorities captured two fugitives who had been on the lam for three weeks after escaping from an Arizona prison. The convicts and an accomplice are accused of murdering a holiday-making married couple and stealing their camping trailer during their run from justice. This gruesome incident has raised questions about the wisdom and efficacy of private prisons, such as the one from which the Arizona convicts escaped.
Mother Jones reporter Suzy Khimm, writing at Ezra Klein's spot, observes that the portion of Arizona's prison population now residing in privately owned and operated facilities is 20% and growing. "Nationally," Ms Khimm notes, "there's been a similar surge in private prison construction as the inmate population has tripled between 1987 and 2007: Inmates in private prisons now account for 9% of the total US prison population, up from 6% in 2000." Should we welcome this development?
Posted by Yulie Foka at 10:51 AM