Lockup Quotas and “Low-Crime Taxes” Helping to Make Money for the Private Prison Industry

PrisonCellSubmitted by Elaine Magliaro, Guest Blogger

In the Public Interest (ITPI), which describes itself as “a comprehensive resource center on privatization and responsible contracting,” released a report this month titled CRIMINAL: How Lockup Quotas and “Low-Crime Taxes” Guarantee Profits for Private Prison Corporations. The report provides information about “the prevalence of prison occupancy guarantee provisions in prison privatization contracts.” ITPI said that it had “identified 77 county and state-level private facilities nationwide and collected and analyzed 62 contracts from these facilities.” Of the contracts that ITPI reviewed, 65% contained occupancy requirements that ranged between 80% and 100%–with 90% being the most frequent quota guarantee.

ITPI found that the states of Arizona, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Virginia were locked into contracts with the highest occupancy guarantee requirements. All four states had quotas requiring an occupancy rate between 95% and 100%.

Continue reading