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Privatization & Corrections (video)

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 1996
0 pages
This video presents Part I of a two-part video conference that deals with issues in the privatization of corrections.
The format of the video conference consists of a host introducing questions to a panel of experts who provide their input into a discussion of the issues raised by the questions. Following host-initiated questions, viewers at various sites in the country either call in or fax questions for the panel. The panel for Part I focused on the privatization of correctional facilities in their design, construction, and management. The panel consists of three representatives of private companies already involved in correctional facility design, construction, and management; a representative of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, and an attorney who has been involved in legal negotiations between private companies and public correctional agencies in the development and finalization of corrections facility privatization contracts. The panel first addressed issues related to the cost-effectiveness of privatizing correctional facility design, construction, and management. One member of the panel who represents a private correctional corporation cites studies that have shown that privately designed, constructed, and managed facilities produce a 10-15 percent savings compared to a similar facility designed, constructed, and managed by a public entity; however, these studies are challenged by the representative of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections. He noted that many of the comparisons have failed to match all of the features of a public and private facility in terms of the age of the facilities, which would determine materials costs and the salary levels of staff based on years of service. He reported on Louisiana studies with carefully matched facilities that show costs to be close to the same for public and private facilities.