Section III: The Prison Economy

Private prisons

  • Year first modern private prison company was founded489: 1983
  • Number of beds in privately run adult prisons, 2001490: 142,521
  • Percent of state prisoners in private facilities, 2001491: 6.1%
  • Percent of federal prisoners in private facilities, 2001492: 11.9%
  • Percent of INS detainees in private facilities, 2001493: 10.1%
  • Percent of private prison market controlled by Wackenhut Corporation and Corrections Corporation of America494: 75%
  • Value of all Wackenhut Corrections Corporation stock, in dollars495: $147 million
  • Wackenhut Corrections Corporation profits reported in third quarter, 2002496: $10 million
  • Percent loss in the value of a share of Wackenhut Corrections Corporation, 2002497: 35.6%
  • Percent loss in value of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 2002498: 15.9%

Safety first?

  • Correctional Officer turnover rate in private prisons, per year499: 40.9%
  • Correctional Officer turnover rate in public prisons, per year500: 15.4%
  • Percent more inmate-on-staff assaults in privately run medium and minimum security prisons than in publicly run facilities501: 49%
  • Percent more inmate-on-inmate assaults in privately run medium and minimum security prisons than in publicly run facilities502: 54%

This page is an excerpt from The Prison Index: Taking the Pulse of the Crime Control Industry (April 2003) by Peter Wagner, published by the Western Prison Project and the Prison Policy Initiative.

Footnotes

489 Good Jobs First, Jail Breaks: Economic Development Subsidies Given to Private Prisons, p. 1.

490 Private Adult Correctional Facility Census, 1996 and 2001 edition

491 Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2001, revised 5/10/02, Table 3.

492 Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2001, revised 5/10/02, Table 3.

493 Calculation based on Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2001, Table 12.

494 Judy Greene, “Bailing out Private Jails”, American Prospect Sept 2001.

495 http://biz.yahoo.com for sticker symbol WHC viewed on December 31, 2002.

496 http://biz.yahoo.com for sticker symbol WHC viewed on December 31, 2002.

497 Calculated on Dec 31, 2002 at http://finance.yahoo.com for sticker symbol WHC

498 Calculated on Dec 31, 2002 at http://finance.yahoo.com for sticker symbol ^DJI

499 Tracy Huling, Building a Prison Economy in Rural America, in Invisible Punishment: The Collateral Consequences of Mass Imprisonment, edited by Marc Mauer and Meda Chesney-Lind, 2002, p. 202.

500 Tracy Huling, Building a Prison Economy in Rural America, in Invisible Punishment: The Collateral Consequences of Mass Imprisonment, edited by Marc Mauer and Meda Chesney-Lind, 2002, p. 202.

501 Judy Greene, “Bailing out Private Jails”, American Prospect Sept 2001.

502 Judy Greene, “Bailing out Private Jails”, American Prospect Sept 2001.