Majority of private prison contracts demand taxpayer-backed lockup quotas


The majority of contracts between local US governments and for-profit prisons require “lockup quotas” and “low crime taxes,” according to a new report.

The report, which was released by In the Public Interest, states that 62 percent of private prison contracts studied by the group require states to keep 80 to 100 percent of prison beds occupied. It also revealed that taxpayers compensate the private companies if the number of prisoners falls below the quota – a policy which guarantees profit within the mass incarceration industry.

For instance, when Colorado did not meet its lockup quotas due to dropping crime rates, the state had to pay $2mn based on its contract with the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) - one of America’s largest private prison companies.

A 90 percent lockup quota at the Lake Erie Correctional Institution in Ohio led to “cutting corners on safety, including overcrowding, areas without secure doors, and an increase in crime both inside the prison and the surrounding community.” The facility is run by CCA.

The report found that Arizona, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Virginia have the highest lockup quotas in the nation, requiring 95 to 100 percent occupancy.

The private prison industry claims that their services offer states opportunities to save money. However, the report says that “numerous studies and audits have shown these claims of cost savings to be illusory, and bed occupancy requirements are one way that private prison companies lock in in?ated costs after the contract is signed.”

“These provisions guarantee prison companies a consistent and regular revenue stream, insulating them from ordinary business risks,” the report states.

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6ULDV8 site profile image  

9/25/13 12:51 PM by 6ULDV8

Instead of the State trying to prevent people being thrown in jail to save money, now companies can profit off of it.   What in the hell do you think is going to happen in that situation?   If you're not sure I'll tell you, people are damn good and sure going to be thrown in jail.   The shareholders you understand.

6ULDV8 site profile image  

9/25/13 12:49 PM by 6ULDV8

When you really sit back and think about it, it's horrifying.   Private companies make a profit from the government for citizens being thrown in jail, so it's in the companies' best interests to make sure that people get thrown in jail.  Ain't no money in empty prisons.   That is beyond insane.

Danger Dave site profile image  

9/25/13 11:12 AM by Danger Dave

This is the downside to the great privatization drive: 1) less oversight 2) Private profit, public risk. A lot of the contracts are written in such way so that there is no risk to the investor who will get reimbursed by the government if their revenue falls short of expectations. It looks like it's true of prisons, and I've seen it in contracts for the construction and operation of new toll roads.

6ULDV8 site profile image  

9/25/13 10:16 AM by 6ULDV8

Well they're not doing that on Reddit anymore!     Reddit banned RT because too many people were sourcing it for the r/news subreddit.     I'm totally serious.    

Sean Thompson site profile image  

9/24/13 11:23 PM by Sean Thompson

was explained to me that taking the gun away from felon was a way to limit blacks from owning guns back in the day, since back then most of people getting locked up were blacks. Don't know how true it is but I wouldn't be surprised if it were true.

martinburke site profile image  

9/24/13 8:53 PM by martinburke

four legs good, two legs better

InteSaSerios site profile image  

9/24/13 4:09 PM by InteSaSerios


6ULDV8 site profile image  

9/24/13 4:02 PM by 6ULDV8


IDXtreme site profile image  

9/24/13 11:07 AM by IDXtreme

Also, can you imagine if another motive is to ban firearm possession by making everyone a felon? A psychopath?