A Guide to Prison Privatization

Report Political Process

A Guide to Prison Privatization

May 24, 1988 23 min read Download Report
Dana Joel
Distinguished Fellow


America has been getting tougher on lawbreakers. This is something that the public long has been demanding. The problem it creates, however, is a shortage of prison capacity to hold the increased numbers of convicted criminals. This has led to: prison overcrowding, sometimes prompting court actions against penal systems; rapidly rising operational outlays; and taxpayer resistance to the cost of new prisons.

A partial answer to the problems of prison overcrowding and high costs may be the "Privatization" of prisons. By using the private sector to build or manage prisons, many states believe that they can reduce costs. So far, most state correction agencies have used the private sector only to manage minimum-secure or non-secure "community" correction centers, such as juvenile institutions and halfway houses. Currently over half the states have passed legislation to allow for this form of prison privatization. Nine states may be going beyond this; they have passed laws enabling private companies to operate adult "confinement" state prisons.1 Other states, including Indiana, Kentucky, and Minnesota, considering similar legislation.

Court Ordered Relief. Costs and overcrowding problems are the driving force behind the Privatization phenomenon. As a national average, it costs roughly $20,000 per year to keep an inmate in prison. There are approximately 650,000 inmates in state and local prisons, double the number five years ago. This costs taxpayers an estimated $18 billion each year. More than two thirds of the states are facing serious overcrowding problems, and many are operating at least 50 percent over capacity. Some 41 states, including California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Texas are under court order to relieve the overcrowding.2 If they do not do so, many convicts who have not served full sentences will have to be released.

Cost comparisons between private and government operation of prisons show frequent cost savings under private management. While the national average cost to hold a prisoner in a government run prison is $40 per inmate a day, many privately run prisons charge the government significantly lower fees. U.S. Corrections Corporation, which operates the Marion Adjustment Center in St. Mary, Kentucky, charges Kentucky a daily fee of $25 per inmate. In 1986, this private firm saved Kentucky an estimated $400,000. Similarly, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) charged Bay County in Florida $29.81 per them per inmate to operate the Bay County Jail. Before Privatization of the facility, the daily cost was $38 per inmate. In 1985, CCA's first year to operate the jail, the corporation saved the county approximately $700,000.3

Yet while prison Privatization solves some problems, it raises serious issues. Among them:

1) Is the public ready to accept the private sector providing a service traditionally performed by the government?

2) Can the government maintain adequate supervision through careful monitoring and evaluation?

3) Should private security guards be given the right to use deadly weapons?

4) In the case of complaints by inmates or prison employees, is the government or the private contractor liable?

States and localities considering prison Privatization thus need to review all aspects of the concept as they examine the Privatization option. There is a wealth of experience and expertise upon which they can draw. This information suggests that Privatization can solve an important part of the prison problem.

FORMS OF Privatization

Prison Privatization means the transfer of prison functions from the government sector to the private sector. This can
take various forms in the case of prisons. Among them:

Contracting out services

This is the most common form of prison privatization. Currently, 39 states hire private firms to provide such services as medical and mental health treatment, drug treatment, education, staff training, and vocational training and counseling.4

Ownership and operation of prisons

To date, private operation of correction centers has been limited to "nonsecure" and minimumsecurity facilities, such as halfway houses, juvenile homes, detention centers, and holding prisons for illegal aliens. Some 28 states allow private firms to operate such facilities. Several states are interested in extending private operation to secure or "confinement" adult prisons. One such facility already in operation is a minimumsecurity prison in St. Mary, Kentucky, now owned and operated by U.S. Corrections Corporation, a private company headquartered in Louisville. The firm has existed since 1986, and is the first private company to own and operate an adult state prison. U.S. Corrections Corporation receives $25.35 per them per inmate for running the Kentucky state prison. A recent survey by the National Institute of Corrections predicts that, by 1990, about a dozen secure prisons will be operated by private management.5

Contracting out prison labor

By putting prisoners to work and paying them competitive wages, many private companies are reducing prison costs for the government by withholding earnings for taxes, room and board, Family support, and victim's compensation. Such employment also gives prisoners the skills and work experience that will prepare them for the job market when they are released.

Private business has become increasingly interested in prison labor during the past decade. Prompted by state and federal measures lifting restrictions to private sector use of prison labor, some eleven states contract out the work of an estimated 1,000 convicts. Over twenty firms, ranging from small businesses to multinational corporations, provide jobs for inmates. For instance, Best Western International, Inc, a major hotel chain, employs over thirty Arizona prison workers to operate the hotel's telephone reservation system. Since the Best Western program began in 1981, inmates have paid $182,000 in taxes, contributed over $187,000 to the state for room and board, and paid at least $112,000 in Family support. Similarly, Trans World Airlines, Inc. hires young offenders from the Ventura Center Training School in California to handle over the phone flight reservations. The inmates have paid a total of $13,000 in taxes, $15,000 for room and board, and $11,000 to victims for restitution.

In most cases, the state correctional system provides the working facility for the private firm. The firm manages and trains the inmates and releases their earnings to the care of the state. The wage rates, in most instances, are negotiated between the state agency and the private firm.

Florida is Leader. Florida in 1981 became the first state to contract out the entire state prison industry to private management. Prison Rehabilitative Industries & Diversified Enterprises Inc. (PRIDE), a firm based in Clearwater, Florida, now manages all 53 Florida prison work programs as a for profit operation. PRIDE made a $4 million profit last year. Many states considering Privatization of prison industries are studying the PRIDE

operation. PRIDE employs only inmates who want to work. As such, work is viewed as an opportunity rather than a punishment. PRIDE pays 60 percent of the workers' wages directly to the state government to defray the costs of imprisonment. PRIDE products, which range from optical and dental items to modular office systems, are sold to the local and state government agencies.

Construction and lease/purchasing

Many states see private construction as a promising solution to the prison overcrowding crisis. States normally finance construction by cash appropriations (a "pay-as-you-go" approach) or by issuing general obligation bonds. The former puts the whole financial burden of construction on the state's annual budget. Bonds create problems by requiring voter approval and are restricted by debt limitations. An alternative is private financing through lease contracts or lease purchasing agreements. It does not place the cost on the annual budget and does not require voter approval. Under a lease/purchase agreement, a private firm agrees to build a prison if the state signs a long term lease for the prison. Early payments of rent by the State help the private firm fund the construction. When the government completes the payment obligations, the debt and finance charges, it takes title to the facility, The private firm benefits from tax advantages and cash flow from the lease payments. The state government often benefits from quicker construction because voter approval is not required and debt limit constraints do not apply. Lease/purchasing for state prisons must be approved by the state legislature. Legislation permitting construction by lease/purchase agreements has passed in 14 states.6

Privatization AT THE STATE LEVEL

To date, most prison Privatization has been by states and local governments, with the federal government doing relatively little beyond using private firms to house illegal aliens and sponsor pilot programs. The greatest strides in state prison Privatization have been in operating "secondary housing facilities" (detention centers for illegal aliens, juvenile offenders, and mental patients) and in contracting out services for prisons. A number of states are exploring whether private firms can operate "primary" security correctional facilities for adults. Colorado, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, New Mexico, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah already have passed enabling legislation to privatize the operation of prisons. States considering legislation are Indiana, Kentucky, and Minnesota.

Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), based in Nashville, Tennessee, and founded in 1983, is the largest private corrections organization in the country. A spinoff of Hospital Corporation of America, CCA designs, constructs, finances, and manages both secure and non-secure facilities. In addition to operating two juvenile centers and a county prison in Hamilton County, Tennessee, CCA also contracts with Florida, New Mexico, and Texas.

In 1985, CCA proposed to operate the entire Tennessee state correctional system for 99 years. Governor Lamar Alexander supported the idea. It was blocked, however, by

lobbying by some state officials and groups like the American Civil Liberties Union. Nevertheless, CCA continues to be the nation's leading innovator of private prison operations and is expanding its marketing activities in Iowa, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas.

Also located in Tennessee is Pricor Corporation, a competitor of CCA. Pricor operates a juvenile detention center in Johnson City, Tennessee, a 144bed prison in Alabama, and a county jail in Maine.

Texas Saves 10 Percent. Severe prison overcrowding problems in Texas prompted legislation last year authorizing Privatization of minimum and medium-security prisons. Texas already has signed a contract with Becon-Wackenhut Inc. of Florida for the construction and private operation of two 500bed minimum-secure facilities. Wackenhut will charge the state a per them fee of $34.79 per inmate, more than a 10 percent saving from what the operation would cost Texas. In addition, Texas is close to agreement with CCA for the construction of two 500bed pre-parole facilities in the cities of Venus and Cleveland.

New Mexico is the most recent state to have passed prison Privatization legislation. This February, Governor Garrey Carruthers signed a bill permitting the state Corrections Department to contract out for private construction, renovation, and management of prisons. The state's first major contract is a lease agreement with a private firm to build and operate a women's prison.

In Florida, the Jack and Ruth Eckerd Foundation, an endowment of the Eckerd drug store chain, has managed and operated the secure Okeechoobee School for Boys since 1982. In addition, PRIDE, Inc. manages the state's prison industry or work program and CCA operates the Bay County Jail as a for-profit, 175 bed work camp. Another for profit firm operates a 171bed state prison, the Beckham Hall Community Correctional Center, with an unsupervised work release program.

In Kentucky, the Marion Adjustment Center, a prerelease, minimum-security 200bed, is the U.S.'s only secure adult state prison owned and operated by a private firm, the U.S. Corrections Corporation.

In Minnesota, the nonprofit Volunteers of America manages and operates the Roseville Detention Center, a county jail for women.

Union Pressure. In Pennsylvania, Buckingham Security Ltd. manages and operates the medium-secure Butler County jail. Buckingham Security proposed in 1985 to design, construct, and operate a 720 bed penitentiary in Beaver County near Pittsburgh. The company intended the facility to house special protective custody prisoners from prisons outside the state. Many states, including Connecticut, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, and West Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia, responded with letters of intent to send prisoners to the facility. The project was scrapped, however, when the Pennsylvania legislature refused to approve it. In 1986, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), a union that represents many state prison employees, successfully lobbied the Pennsylvania legislature for a moratorium on all future prison Privatization projects. The moratorium expired recently, but projects such as the Buckingham Security plan have been delayed.

Prison Management by National Corporations

Recent developments in corporate prison management could advance prison Privatization significantly. An example is General Electric Government Services, a subsidiary of General Electric Company, which took over RCA Service Company two years ago. General Electric Government Services now runs the Weaversville Intensive Treatment Unit, a juvenile institution in Pennsylvania established by RCA Service Company in 1975. Responding to Pennsylvania's urgent request for a high-security juvenile facility, RCA converted an empty state-owned building into a correction center in just ten days and positioned its staff to run the operation. In addition to the Weaversville center, General Electric Government Services runs the Evaluation and Treatment Center in Rhode Island and the Bensalem Youth Development Center in Pennsylvania.

Another significant development is the growth of joint venture agreements between local firms and national corporations. Example: A $40 million medium-security prison in Colorado is being built as a joint venture between American Correctional Systems, Inc. (design and management), the huge Bechtel Group, Inc. (construction), South Korea's Daewoo International Corporation (finance), and the international finance company Shearson Lehman Brothers, Inc. (underwriting). Under another arrangement, Corrections Development Corporation will design, construct, finance, and lease a prison facility in Missouri on a 30year lease/purchase basis; Kidder Peabody & Company, Inc. will underwrite the project.7


Compared with state and local activity, prison Privatization at the federal level is moving very slowly. Yet it was the federal government that triggered the recent spate of prison Privatization when it began to contract out for the imprisonment of illegal aliens in the early 1980's. At that time, the federal government also made. inmate labor available to private firms, primarily to test the feasibility of private prison work programs. Currently, the main areas of federal prison Privatization include holding illegal aliens awaiting deportation, operating halfway houses, providing medical, food, and educational services, and managing minimum-security facilities. The major private correction centers for federal offenders include:

· Hidden Valley Ranch, in California, which confines approximately 60 juveniles for the Bureau of Prisons (BOP).

· Behavioral Systems Southwest, also in California, which retains minimum-security illegal aliens for the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).

· Corrections Corporation of America in Tennessee, which operates a minimum-security detention center for the INS in Houston, Texas.

· Wackenhut Services, Inc. of Florida, which has a contract with the INS to construct a minimum-security facility in Colorado for 167 inmates. The company also has contracts with the U.S. Marshals Service, the Bureau of Prisons, and the Department of Labor to operate a job-corps center for 600 violators.

Within the last year, the federal Bureau of Prisons has proposed contracting with a private firm for a new 500bed minimum-secure facility for illegal aliens. In addition, the Bureau has considered contracting for facilities to house "special needs" prisoners, such as juveniles, women, protective custody cases, and for prisoners needing medical services. However, the Bureau of Prisons has been hesitant to contract out the more "mainstream" prisoners such as those imprisoned in the Federal Correctional Institutions and the U.S. Penitentiary System.

Federal Actions Promoting Privatization

Since the early 1980's, the federal government has considered legislation to stimulate prison privatization. To encourage contracting out prison labor, for instance, Congress in 1984 revised regulations making interstate markets more accessible. By authorizing twenty states to trade goods across state lines, the Prison Industries Enhancement Program under the Justice Assistance Act of 19848 expanded and diversified the market of products manufactured by prison industries. Under the Act, manufacturers must consult with the appropriate labor unions before a sale can be agreed to. Unions must be assured that employed workers will not lose their jobs due to increased competition in the workforce.

· In 1984, Senator Alfonse D'Amato, the New York Republican, sponsored legislation to provide tax incentives to private businesses that constructed prison facilities on a lease/purchase basis. This legislation died in committee.

· In 1985, the National Institute of Justice (the research branch of the Justice Department) held a three-day conference to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of prison privatization. NIJ also has commissioned studies on the growth of prison Privatization at state and local levels. Also in 1985, the House and Senate Judiciary Committees held hearings on prison privatization.

· This March, the President's Commission on Privatization recommended that the Immigration and Naturalization Service continue to contract out detention facilities and that the Bureau of Prisons commission a study on the feasibility of contracting out a federal correctional institution or a U.S. penitentiary. The Commission also recommended that the INS and the BOP use lease-purchase agreements for prison construction, and it recommended that the Justice Department continue as an advisor on prison Privatization for states and local government.9

The Reagan Administration's fiscal 1989 budget proposes two pilot projects. One would focus on federal prison industries, the other on private operation of federal minimum security prisons.10


Prison Privatization raises a number of complex questions. They must be answered by any jurisdiction considering privatization.11

Question #1. Does Privatization Mean Government Abrogates Its Responsibility?

Should the private sector be responsible for a function traditionally performed by the government sector? Or is it possible for the government to delegate certain areas of responsibility to the private sector while continuing to maintain full authority?

Experience shows that prison Privatization does not mean that the government relinquishes its responsibility. The government still would select the inmates to be placed in private prisons, choose the type of facility to be contracted out, oversee the contractor's disciplinary practices and, most important, evaluate the contractor's performance.

Question #2. Is "Creaming" a Problem?

Does Privatization mean the private sector will take the more "favorable" prisoners leaving more difficult inmates for the government?

This is unlikely. Most states retain the right to place inmates in privately run prisons.12

Question #3. Does Profit Conflict with Good Practice?

Can the economic objectives of running a prison be met without conflicting with the operational objectives? Critics of Privatization claim that contractors will cut comers at the expense of the prisoner's welfare.

The contracting process significantly reduces such dangers. Contractors must abide by state laws, regulations, and policies and are held accountable for fulfilling these obligations. If the state is dissatisfied, it can refuse to renew the contract. Some states, such as New Mexico and Tennessee, also include termination clauses within contracts in the event a contractor provides inadequate service. In addition, contractors are watched very closely by the courts, the press, civil-rights groups, and prison-reform groups. Such close scrutiny forces the contractor to maintain adequate standards.

Question #4. Are Current Prison Employees Threatened by Privatization?

The public employee unions representing public sector prison workers, such as the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal. Employees (AFSCME), fear that extensive Privatization will reduce salary and fringe benefits for prison workers.

Private contracting poses much less of a threat than the unions claim. In common with most contracting practices at the state and local levels, state employees usually receive first refusal for jobs with the private contractor. And because the correctional system is highly labor-intensive, prison operation requires a large work force. Studies also suggest that wage rates in privately run prisons are the same or are higher than in government-run prisons.

Question #5. Are Private Prison Guards Permitted to Strike?

Critics argue that while public guards cannot strike, private guards can strike under the protection of the National labor Relations Act. However, many contracts can contain provisions denying these private employees the right to strike.

In cases where no such provision exists, private guards nevertheless are likely to be discouraged from striking. Correction agencies can threaten to terminate a contract, which would mean the loss of their jobs. In any event, should a strike occur, authorities could call in the National Guard or state police, as they would to quell a severe disruption in a state-run prison.

Question #6. Will Service Quality and Flexibility be Maintained?

Some policy makers maintain that the quality of management in private prisons will tend to be high at first, because of competition and the desire to win contracts. However, they question the private sector's ability to sustain high-quality standards. They reason that, with the contract securely in their hands, private managers in the long-run are unlikely to maintain high standards. Moreover, they claim, once a long-term contract is signed, government lose$ its flexibility in practice it is not able to use or discard private services as needs change.

Contracting standards, however, are likely to improve over time as more firms enter the market and competition increases. Periodic rebidding, as the National Institute of Justice recommends, will create incentives for firms to improve constantly the quality and cost-efficiency of their performance. Studies on the contracting out of other federal and municipal services show significant cost savings over the long term. Between 1981 and 1984, for example, municipal janitorial services contracting with the Department of Housing and Urban Development showed cost savings of 73 percent. Similarly, municipal overlay construction showed a 96 percent cost saving.13 Frequent government review of contracts and careful monitoring of performance will ensure long-range efficiency.

Question #7. Can Public and Private Costs be Compared?

Given the difficulties inherent in measuring the true "cost" of a prison inmate, can government really be sure it saves with Privatization?

Comparing costs in the private and public sectors admittedly is not easy. Accounting procedures differ and quality is difficult to compare. Routine monitoring of private contractors may be a hidden cost of Privatization, just as taxes paid by the contractor may be a hidden additional benefit.

Despite accounting difficulties, the evidence to date shows strong cost advantages of private operation over government operation due to such factors as the absence of civil service regulation, lower private-sector pension and benefit costs, and improved productivity. But to measure these savings accurately, agencies need to review their accounting procedures. Many states and counties are doing this, just as cities have done so to gauge the savings of contracting out municipal services. At the federal level, the President's Commission on Privatization recommends that the Bureau of Prisons and the Immigration and Naturalization Service conduct cost-analysis studies, using standards for measuring annual expenditures that are used by contractors.14

Question #8. How Can Liability Concerns be Resolved?

Who is legally responsible for the violation of a prisoner's rights? Who is liable if a private prison employee is injured? If a prisoner escapes and injures. a private citizen, is the state or the private operator held accountable? And assuming the government is liable, will liability costs to the government be higher or lower with private prison operation?

Such questions are important in the debate on prison privatization. Yet the matter of liability has not slowed Privatization significantly. Critics and proponents of Privatization agree that while the contractor has accepted responsibility to operate or manage a prison facility, government still retains overall authority and liability. In fact, the Civil rights Act specifies that while the private sector may manage "places of confinement," the government is to have ultimate custody over prisoners. A contract, of course, can contain indemnification clauses absolving the agency from certain legal damages. In many cases, the contractor is required to carry large insurance policies for the government agency's protection.15

The 1988 Report by the President's Commission on Privatization notes that the liability issue depends very much on the nature of state tort laws and specific provisions within the contract. According to the report, the American Bar Association, with support from the National Institute of Justice, is completing a model prison contract to deal with liability and other issues.16

Question #9. What About the Use of Force?

Should private security guards carry guns? When is the use of deadly force by a private guard justified? Should guards use force only for self-protection, or under the same conditions as state officials? What about emergency situations, such as a prison escape?

While these are understandable concerns, most states have resolved the issue by defining

in statute the right of private officials to use reasonable force. Lawmakers believe it is necessary that contractors have the same standards for establishing security as correction agencies, and that inmates view private prison officials as holding the same authority as government officials. Massachusetts, for instance, allows private guards to use deadly force with discretion. However, the state Commissioner of Corrections enforces regulations to ensure security and order. Similarly, New Mexico allows prison contractors to designate "peace officers," who are armed within the prison facility, outside the facility when transporting inmates, and may use deadly force in the event of an escape.

Nevertheless, the right to use force, especially deadly force, is seen as a last resort. Private guards normally are unarmed. In some privately operated prisons, such as the Bay County Jail in Florida, most guards are licensed to carry guns but only do so if there is a crisis, such as an attempted escape. Moreover, if an escape is successful, private prison officials normally would rely on the police force to apprehend the prisoner.17


Privatization is a practical and innovative solution to the problems of overcrowding and high costs facing the U.S. prison system. Many states are recognizing this, contracting out services, contracting out inmates' labor to private firms, and seeking private financing for prison construction. An increasing number of states are contracting out the entire operation of prison facilities. The federal government has been less active, limiting itself to contracting out facilities holding illegal aliens and juvenile offenders.

Many jurisdictions are unsure of prison Privatization, fearing a loss in service, problems with liability, and threats to the jobs of prison personnel. As more and more jurisdictions experiment successfully with Privatization, however, their experience should demonstrate privatization's value.

Dana Joel

Research Assistant



I. Generally for Privatization

American Correctional Association: (301) 6997600

One of the largest and oldest criminal justice associations, ACA represents approximately 17,000 correctional administrators, wardens, parole board members, probation officers, and other professional prison workers. The organization's purpose is to improve correctional standards and to develop adequate physical facilities. ACA supports the Privatization of prisons and has conducted studies on the issue, such as an evaluation in 1985 of the Okeechobee School for Boys. In addition, ACA has made recommendations for laws, regulations, and policies to, improve operational standards.

National Governors' Association: (202) 6245300

NGA supports the development of prison Privatization on the state level. NGA recommends states move cautiously and that contracts clearly specify the role and responsibilities of the government.

II. Generally Critical of Privatization

American Bar Association: (202) 3312200

In 1986, the ABA House of Delegates passed a resolution recommending that jurisdictions not authorize Privatization of prisons "until the complex constitutional, statutory, and contractual Issues are satisfactorily developed and resolved."18

American Civil Liberties Union: (202) 5441681

Officials of the ACLU argue that turning prisons over to the private sector means the government is shirking its responsibility. The ACLU is particularly concerned with questions of accountability and liability.

American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees: (202) 4524800

AFSCME represents approximately 50,000 correctional workers and has been a leading force in the fight against prison privatization. In 1985, AFSCME withdrew from the American Corrections Association, and in 1986 AFSCME led the fight in the Pennsylvania legislature for a moratorium on privatizing prisons. Like other public workers unions, AFSCME is concerned primarily with protecting the jobs of government workers.

National Association of Criminal Justice Planners: (202) 3470501

The NACJP represents coordinators of urban prison systems in approximately 75 major urban areas. Officials of NACJP believe the responsibility for incarceration belongs to the state and should not be turned over to the private sector.

National Sheriffs' Association: (703) 8367827

The NSA has adopted a resolution opposing the Privatization of prisons. However, not all chapters of the association endorse this position. In 1983, the Texas Sheriffs' Association actively supported the Texas bill to allow county sheriffs to contract for minimum-security facilities.19


I. Generally for Privatization

Stuart A Butler
The Heritage Foundation, Washington, D.C
(202) 5464400

Keon Chi
Council of State Governments, Lexington, Kentucky
(606) 2522291

Fran Clark
Office of Management and Budget, Washington, D.C.
(202) 3955700

Chuck deWitt
National Institute of Justice, Washington, D.C.
(202) 2726040

Jack Eckerd
Jack and Ruth Eckerd Foundation, Clearwater, Florida
(813) 4611524

Philip E. Fixler
Reason Foundation, Santa Monica, California
(213) 3920443

Harry P. Hatry
Urban Institute, Washington, D.C.
(202) 8337200

Robert B. Levinson
American Correctional Association, College Park, Maryland
(301) 6997600

Charles H. Logan
National Institute of Justice, Washington, D.C.
(202) 7242959

Kymberly Messersmith
American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Washington, D.C.
(202) 5474646

Charles R. Ring
Legislative Research Bureau
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts
(617) 7222345

David Seader
Privatization Council, Washington, D.C.
(202) 8571142

Frank Sellers
Business Alliance on Government Competition, Washington, D.C.
(202) 4635500

George E. Sexton
Criminal Justice Associates, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
(215) 2471390

Ronald Utt
Office of Management and Budget, Washington, D.C.
(202) 3956117

II.Generally Critical of Privatization

Jeff Faux
Economic Policy Institute, Washington, D.C.
(202) 7758810

Ira P. Robbins
American University, Washington, D.C.
(202) 8852646


American Correctional Systems, Inc., Fort Collins, Colorado
Harvey Prickett
(303) 4843888

Behavioral Systems Southwest, Inc., Pomona, California
Ted Nissen
(714) 6230604

Best Western International, Arizona Center for Women, Phoenix, Arizona
Harvey Applegate
(602) 9575786

Buckingham Security Ltd., Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
Joseph Fenton
(717) 5233210

Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), Nashville, Tennessee
Tom Beasley
(615) 3561885

Corrections Development Corporation, St. Louis, Missouri
Bruce Rich
(314) 9684709

Eckerd Family Youth Alternatives, Inc., Clearwater, Florida
Dwight Lord
(813) 4612990

Eclectic Communications, Inc. (ECI), Ventura, California
Art McDonald
(805) 6448700

Pricor Corp., Nashville, Tennessee
Hubert McCullough
(615) 8343030

Prison Rehabilitation Industries & Diversified Enterprises, Inc., Clearwater, Florida
Doug Watkins
(813) 4411950

Private Corrections Corp., Denver, Colorado
J. David Huskins
(303) 8300628

General Electric Government Operations, Cherry Hill, New Jersey
James Becker
(609) 4865042

Trans World Airlines, Ventura Reservation Center, Ventura, California
Wilma Barclay
(805) 9880407

U.S. Corrections Corp., Frankfort, Kentucky J.
Clifford Todd
(502) 6929622

Volunteers of America, Roseville, Minnesota
Bill Nelson
(612) 4882073

Wackenhut Services, Inc., Coral Gables, Florida
Mike Norris
(305) 6665656


AFSCME, Does Crime Pay: An Examination of Prisons for Proflt (Washington, D.C.: 1985).

Allen, Joan, Keon Chi, Edward D. Feigenbaum, Judith C. Hackett, Harry P. Hatry, Robert B. Levinson, "Contracting for the Operation of Prisons and Jails," Research in Brief, National Institute of Justice , Department of Justice, June 1987.

American Correctional Association, "Public Correctional Policy on Private Sector Involvement in Corrections" (ratified at ACA Winter conference, January 1985.)

Bast, Diane Carol and Judy S. Grant, "In Defense of Private Prisons," A Heartland Policy, Study (Chicago: The Heartland Institute, 1986).

Burger, Warren E., "Prison Industries: Turning Warehouses into Factories With Fences," Public Administration Review, 45: 754757, 1985.

Cullen, Francis T., Jr., "The Privatization of Treatment: Prison Reform in the 1980's," Federal Probation, 50 (1): 816, 1986.

Dilulio, John J., Private Prisons (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press,
March 1987).

DiPaolo, Joseph R., "Private Sector Breaking the Shackles of Tradition," Corrections.
Today, 144146, April 1986.

Donahue, John D., Prisons for Profit. Public Justice, Private Interests (Washington, D.C.:
Economic Policy Institute, 1988).

Elvin, Jan, "A Civil Liberties View of Private Prisons," The Prison Journal, 65 (2):4852,

Fairchild, Mary, "States Aren't Ready for Privately Owned Prisons Yet," state
Legislatures, 78, April 1986.

Geis, Gilbert, `The Privatization of Prisons: Panacea or Placebo?" Private Means
Public Ends: Private Business in Social Service Delivery (New York: Praeger, 1986).

Local Government Center, Private Sector Rehabilitates Prisons," Fiscal Watchdog, No. 128, June 1987.

Logan, Charles H., "Propriety of Proprietary Prisons," Federal Probation; September 1987.

Logan, Charles H., Edward Sagarin, and Jess Maghan, "Should States Opt for Private Prisons?"' The Hartford Courant, January 12, 1986.

Massachusetts Legislative Research Council, prisons for Profit (Boston: July 1986).

Mullen, Joan, "Corrections and the Private Sector," Research in Brief, National Institute of Justice , Department of Justice, March 1985.

National Criminal Justice Association, Private Sector Involvement in Financing and Managing Correctional Facilities (Washington, D.C.: April 1987).

National Institute of Justice, Corrections and the Private Sector. A National Forum, February 2022, 1985.

Patrick , Allen L., "Profit Motive vs. Quality," corrections Today, pp. 68, 70, 74, April 1986.

Palumbo, Dennis J., Privatization and Corrections Policy," Policy Studies Review, 5: 598605, Feb. 1986.

Reason Foundation, "Privatization 1986."

Reason Foundation, Fiscal Watchdog, June 1987.

Robbins, Ira P., "Privatization of Corrections: Defining the Issues," Judicature, 69: 324331, 1986.

Roper, Brian A., "Market Forces, Privatization and Prisons: A Polar Case for Government Policy," International Journal of Social Economics, 13: 7792, 1986.

Sexton, George E., Franklin C. Farrow, and Barbara J. Auerbach, "The Private Sector and Prison Industries," Research in Brief, National Institute of Justice , Department of Justice, August 1985.

Shwiff, Steven S. and Mary Hajner, Assessing Options for Private Correctional Facilities (Denver: The Colorado Center for Public Policy Initiatives, 1988.)

Starr, Paul, The Limits of Privatization (Washington, D.C.: Economic Policy Institute, 1987).

Stewart, James K., "Public Safety and Private Police," Public Administration Review, 45: 758765, 1985.

Stewart, James K., "Costly Prisons: Should the Public Monopoly Be Ended?" in Patrick B. McGuigan and Jon S. Pascale, eds., Crime and Punishment in Modem America (Washington, D.C.: Free Congress Research and Education Foundation, 1986).


1Colorado, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah. Report by the President's Commission on Privatization, March 1988, Chapter 8, p. 21.

2 Ibid.

3 National Criminal Justice Association Private Sector Involvement in Financing and Managing Correctional Facilities, April 1987, pp. 10 and 17.

4 Report of the Massachusetts Legislative Research Council, prisons for Profit, July 31, 1986.

5 Judy S. Grant and Diane Carol Bast, A Heartland Policy Study, The Heartland Institute, No. 15, May 4,1987.

6 Joan Mullen, "Corrections and the Private Sector," Research in Brief, National Institute of Justice, Department of Justice, March 1985.

7 Philip E. Fixler Jr., "Private Sector Rehabilitates Prisons," Fiscal Watchdog, No. 128, June 1987.

8 P.L. 98473, Sec. 819.

9 Report on the President's Commission on Privatization, op. cit., Chapter 8.

10 Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget, Budget of the United States, Government, FY 1989, pp. 112,2b23,5156.

11 Mullen op. cit., p. 5.

12 For a discussion of random placing, see Massachusetts Legislative Research Council, Prisons for Profit, July 1986, p. 101.

13 Stephen Moore, "How to Privatize Federal Services by Contracting Out," Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 494, March 13,1986.

14 Report on the President's Commission on Privatization, op. cit., p. 26.

15 Charles H. Logan, "Propriety of Proprietary Prisons," Federal Probation September 1987, p. 9.

16 Report by the President's Commission on Privatization, op. cit., p. 24.

17 Special Report, National Criminal Justice Association, April 1987, p. 8.

18 Ira P. Robbins, "Privatization of Corrections: Defining the Issues," Judicature Magazine, AprilMay 1986, p. 326.

19 Kevin Krajick, "Prisons for Profit: The Private Alternative," State Legislature, April 1984, p. 12


Dana Joel

Distinguished Fellow