“Private prisons do not provide a consistently improved experience for inmates or staff compared to public facilities, and, in many cases, the
experience can be worse,” the National Council on Crime and Delinquency contends in a new report. NCCD said its report on private prisons, which hold about 8 percent of the nation’s correctional population, was based on conversations with several experts, a review of the academic and legal literature on private prisons, and a media review of newspaper and radio stories. The report was funded by the Public Welfare Foundation.
Do private prisons save money? NCCD said research has produced varied, and that “the verdict is, at best, a draw.” Arizona requires the regular and intensive assessment of private prison performance. The state’s most recent study found that private prisons resulted in higher costs to the
state compared to public facilities. Other studies have found that privatizing facilities resulted in minimal or no savings. Some studies, including
those by groups affiliated with prison companies or their proponents, found that privatization can yield modest savings.