January 18, 2012
A Florida Senate Committee this afternoon is scheduled to consider bills which would allow private, for-profit companies to manage some Florida prisons.
Below is a statement from Julie Ebenstein, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU of Florida:
“We should be looking for ways to save money in our expensive corrections system – but private prisons are not the answer.
“Study after study has shown that private prisons don’t save money and are more dangerous for corrections workers as well as inmates.
“It is unsafe, unwise and unnecessary to inject a profit motive into the criminal justice system. No person should ever have to worry that the terms and conditions of incarceration are influenced by stock prices or executive bonuses and no one should be able to make money by extending sentences or cutting basic services such as health care.
“Efficiencies and cost savings are urgently needed in Florida’s corrections system but those savings can be more easily, quickly and humanely achieved by fixing outdated and ineffective sentencing and parole policies. It’s far cheaper in every sense to keep people out of prison than in any prison – public or private.”
In November of 2011, the ACLU released a report entitled "BANKING ON BONDAGE: Private Prisons and Mass Incarceration". A PDF of the report is available here: http://www.aclu.org/files/assets/bankingonbondage_20111102.pdf