Empty Montana Prison: Harbinger Of Private-Incarceration Woes?


Hardin, Mt., population 3,500, authorized building a 464-bed private prison, but it sits empty today and and the town is worried that its creditors will soon foreclose on the property because they have not been paid back, Newsweek reports. A possible deal with a mysterious security company that billed itself as “America’s Private Police Force (APPF)” fell through last week.

Alex Friedmann of Prison Legal News argues that Hardin is the latest desperate small town to look to a private prison for economic salvation. Private prisons run by big companies
spread across the U.S. during the economic boom years. Now 26 states have cut back on corrections for the coming fiscal year, says the Vera Institute for Justice, and more
prisoners are being released. That means that there is less of a market to pay private companies to house prisoners.

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