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January 2012 (The Sentencing Project)

Too Good to be True: Private Prisons in America

In 2010 private prisons held 128,195 individuals, representing eight percent of America's total prison population and an 80 percent increase compared to 1999. This growth has been fueled by claims that private prisons provide equal or superior services compared to publicly operated facilities, and at a lower cost.

This report details the history of the movement to privatize prisons in America and documents the increase in their use. It also examines the purported ability of private prisons to provide the same level of services as publicly operated facilities, but at a lower cost, as well as the lobbying and contribution activities of private prisons on the state and federal level.

Too Good to be True: Private Prisons in America can be viewed here.

Author: Cody Mason
Issue Area(s): Incarceration, Sentencing Policy