Real Savings Needed for Private Prisons

The Florida Times Union, June 22, 2011 | Go to article overview

Real Savings Needed for Private Prisons


The Florida Legislature has been frugal about most things in recent years, with one exception - prisons.

Florida has been on a prison-building binge.

And despite the state's avowed fiscal conservatism, the binge has been financed with what amounts to a $1 billion credit card.

Things are so out of hand that prisons continue to be filled while crime declines. So where are the new prisoners coming from? Too often, from first-time offenders and nonviolent drug offenders.

Other states, most notably Texas, have responded by finding alternatives to prison that save money and still protect the public.

Florida, unfortunately, has responded by simply transferring more prisons to private companies. That doesn't necessarily save money. In fact, after more than a decade of prison privatization, the savings are still vague.

MaJor examples

- There is no hard evidence that private prisons save money or have better outcomes than public ones, reported the Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy last year.

- A 2008 report from the Legislature's accountability office concluded that there was no good assurance that private prisons had comparable levels of health and mental health care as public ones.

- A report from The Miami Herald listed allegations that private and public prisons often can't be compared equally, charging that private prisons seek to off-load their more expensive prisoners to public facilities. For instance, prisoners who are high security risks or have expensive medical conditions may be less likely to be kept in private facilities.

So it made sense for the Legislature to privatize an entire region in South Florida, thus reducing the ability for cherry-picking.

The proposal would privatize most facilities south of Manatee and Indian River counties to be overseen by the Department of Corrections. That appears to be about 18 counties, though the corrections department still is analyzing the law.

Savings?

State law requires private prisons to provide at least a 7 percent savings. One would think that would be easy to do given the confidence in privatization. Of course, a private company would need a profit margin in addition to the savings.

As of last year, six of Florida's 62 prisons were run by private companies.

This newspaper sees privatization as neither friend nor foe, simply as another option for the taxpayers. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Real Savings Needed for Private Prisons
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.