An article in today’s NYTimes points out,
The conviction that private prisons save money helped drive more than 30 states to turn to them for housing inmates. “There’s a perception that the private sector is always going to do it more efficiently and less costly,” said Russ Van Vleet, a former co-director of the University of Utah Criminal Justice Center. “But there really isn’t much out there that says that’s correct.”
Private prisons pay staff less but the result is often more violence and inmate mistreatment. Private prisons also have a habit of only accepting healthier inmates and under-spending on those who are ill. more below…
While Christie was still Governor-Elect his Corrections Transition Committee issued a report urging substantial privatization. According to the Star Ledger, “One team member, Rutgers Professor Nancy Wolf quit the committee saying “unprofessionalism and bias compromised the quality.” She later expressed concern that some of the $61.5 million allocated to other operators should be diverted back to the state. One of the top advisors to Christie of course is William Palatucci, Senior Vice President of Community Education Centers (CEC), currently the main beneficiary of Corrections Department largesse.
In January according to the Asbury Park Press Monmouth County’s Board of Freeholders decided against privatizing the county prison after a task force concluded the move did not make financial sense. Nonetheless, Christie’s administration continues to seek elusive savings through the Prison Industrial Complex while risking the health and well-being of people in its custody.