Private Prisons Negativly Impact State and Local Governments

3180 Words 13 Pages
Private prisons have a negative effect on states and local governments. Unfortunately, the number of private prisons has been increasing since their inception in 1983 causing further problems. For-profit prisons offer no real benefits and are bad investments for states. Furthermore, private prisons beleaguer communities with high turnover rates that hurt local economies. The demands of these institutions put an excessive burden on the local community’s infrastructure. Similarly, private prisons strain the county and city legal systems. More often than not, spin-off industries and economic benefits promised by the for-profit correction industry fail to appear. Additionally, private prisons are allowed to cherry pick the least expensive …show more content…
For instance, states like Texas, Tennessee, Florida, Ohio, and Arizona have been increasing the number of private prisons in their states. In fact, “there's been a similar surge in private prison construction as the inmate population has tripled between 1987 and 2007: Inmates in private prisons now account for 9 percent of the total U.S. prison population, up from 6 percent in 2000” (Khimm 2010). Regrettably, instead of alleviating budgetary woes these states have added new burdens to their bottom lines.

Private prisons do little to improve local economies. By all means, “the cost benefits of privatization have not materialized to the extent promised by the private sector. Although there are examples of cost savings, there are other examples in which such benefits have not been realized”(Austin 2001, 39). Furthermore, private prisons offer meager cost savings that stem from a reduction in labor-related cost (Austin 2001). On one hand, proponents of this industry say that private prisons are more cost-efficient. On the other hand, opponents say they are not cost-effective. Indeed, private prisons do save money in some respects. However, these savings come with hidden costs that make them irrelevant. Moreover, the proliferation of private prisons has had a negative effect on states and local governments. Rural areas in particular are drastically affected by private prisons. In fact, “increasing evidence suggests that by many measures prisons do not produce…