A new report from the Arizona chapter of the American Friends Service Committee says that Arizona’s private prisons are unsafe and not cost-effective.
The report says that Arizona paid $10 million more for private prison beds between 2008 and 2010 than it would have for equivalent state beds. And the state’s plan to add another 2,000 private prison beds will cost at least $6 million a year more than incarcerating those inmates in state prisons.
In the past three years, Arizona private prisons have experienced at least 28 riots and more than 200 other “disturbances.” Many of these disturbances have not been reported to the public until now.
The group says that private prison corporations have been buying their way into the criminal justice system, boosting demand for their services by lobbying for even tougher criminal laws.
The Huffington Post reported this week that one major private prison company recently wrote to the governors of 48 states offering to buy their state-owned prisons outright. The offer would require a guarantee that the prisons be kept 90% full.
The full report is online at afsc.org.