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Friday, June 12, 2015

Privately-Owned US Prisons Keep Inmates Longer, Study Finds, Tell Us Something We Did Not Already Know!

The study is the first to compare time served in public and private 

prisons, and suggests financial reasons exist for keeping people 

behind bars. A new study reveals that private prisons in the United 

States keep people locked up two to three months longer than 

public prisons, and are just as likely to see people commit another 

crimes after their release, according to media reports Thursday. 

The findings contradict industry claims that private prisons see a 

lower recidivism rates through offering higher quality and 

innovative rehabilitation programs. Instead, what it indicates is that 

there may be a financial incentive for operators of private prisons 

to maximize the number of days each prisoner serves and keep 

prisons full, since private prisons are paid on the basis of each 

occupied bed. RELATED: America’s Disappeared Black Men 

According to Anita Mukherjee, an assistant professor of actuarial 

science, risk management and insurance at the University of 

Wisconsin who authored the study, this system may not be in the 

best interest of the state. “The number of days a prisoner serves 

relates directly to the cost of housing that inmate, so if inmates 

sent to private prisons somehow serve longer terms, this 

undermines the very cost benefit that makes private prisons 

attractive relative to public prisons," she says. RELATED: Ayana 

Aubourg talks to Cynthia Peters about young people and US mass 

incarceration In Mississippi, for example, the state is contracted to 

pay private operators an average US$50 per bed occupied, so an 

extra three months of incarceration would cost the state $3,000 per 

inmate – cutting into about half the projected cost savings 

purportedly offered by private prisons. Mukherjee also found that 

inmates in private prisons receive twice as many infractions while 

incarcerated, what are usually used by the parole boards to assess 

ones eligibility for early release. RELATED: Legacy of Resistance 

to the US Police State The system also creates unfairness for 

prisoners who end up “serving more time simply because they 

were randomly assigned to a private prison instead of a public 

one,” said Mukherjee. The private prison system in the U.S. is a 

US$5 billion industry, and represents some 10 percent of all 

incarcerations in the country. The system has been constantly 

criticized by human rights organizations who say the companies 

are profiting off the incarceration and suffering of individuals.

This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following 

If you intend to use it, please cite the source and provide a link to the original article.
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