Arizona tops in guaranteeing private prisons new customers

private prisonsBy David McGlothlin | Arizona Sonora News Service

Arizona leads all other states in deals crafted for the private prison industry by guaranteeing 90 to 100 percent of prison beds will be filled in all six state-level private prison facilities.

Private prison companies lock states into contracts to fill a certain percentage of prison beds or pay regardless, which ensures profits and revenues but at the cost of taxpayers.

Arizona trumps all states’ inmates quotas with three private prison facilities requiring 100 percent occupancy. Critics argue that this provides incentives to keep prison beds full, running counter to many states’ trend of reducing prison populations, sentencing lengths and corrections spending.

Arizona, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Virginia are the only states with quotas higher than 90 percent.

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