Magazine article Corrections Forum

An Entirely Private Prison System

Magazine article Corrections Forum

An Entirely Private Prison System

Article excerpt

Perhaps you have heard... nine of Arizona's 10 state faculties are up for sale to the highest bidder. According to a recent New York Times article by Jennifer Steinhauer, Arizona State officials will soon seek bids from private companies for these nine prison facilities that house roughly 40,000 inmates, including the 127 on death row.

It is the first effort by a state to put its entire prison system under private control. The privatization effort demonstrates what states around the country - broke, desperate and often overburdened with prisoners and their associated costs - are willing to do to balance the books. Arizona officials hope the effort will put a $100 million dent in the state's roughly $2 billion budget shortfall.

Arizona is no stranger to private prisons or, for that matter, aggressive privatization efforts (recently, the state put up for sale several government buildings housing executive branch offices in Phoenix). Nearly 30 percent of the states prisoners are being held in prisons operated by private companies outside the states 10 complexes. …

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