CommunityFDL Main Blog

Florida’s Private Prison Mess

"House Chamber, Florida State Capitol"

"House Chamber, Florida State Capitol" by StevnM_61 on flickr

Florida is embarking upon the largest prison privatization plan in history. As part of a last-minute budget amendment, the state legislature mandated the privatization of the correctional services of 18 counties in south Florida, for a total of nearly 30 correctional facilities.

No state has ever undertaken such an ambitious expansion of their private prison system, and for good reason; private prisons consistently fail to live up to contractual obligations, don’t save money, and provide less efficient services than government-run prisons.

But that hasn’t stopped Florida from forging ahead, even despite the fact that the Senate’s Budget Chief at one point even called this initiative an experiment to see if the state could save money by privatization. While that’s not a gamble most sane politicians would ever want to make, JD Alexander was probably swayed, as were many other politicians, by the more than ¾ of a million dollars that the GEO Group spent lobbying the state legislature in the last election cycle.

Thankfully, one of Alexander’s fellow Republicans, Mike Fasano, is able to easily identify the root of the deficiencies of private prisons, and has been challenging this plan from the get-go.

CommunityMy FDL

Florida’s Private Prison Mess

"House Chamber, Florida State Capitol"

"House Chamber, Florida State Capitol" by StevnM_61 on flickr

Florida’s Prison Privatization Mess

Florida is embarking upon the largest prison privatization plan in history. As part of a last-minute budget amendment, the state legislature mandated the privatization of the correctional services of 18 counties in south Florida, for a total of nearly 30 correctional facilities.

No state has ever undertaken such an ambitious expansion of their private prison system, and for good reason; private prisons consistently fail to live up to contractual obligations, don’t save money,  and provide less efficient services than government-run prisons.

But that hasn’t stopped Florida from forging ahead, even despite the fact that the Senate’s Budget Chief at one point even called this initiative an experiment to see if the state could save money by privatization.  While that’s not a gamble most sane politicians would ever want to make, JD Alexander was probably swayed, as were many other politicians, by the more than ¾ of a million dollars that the GEO Group spent lobbying the state legislature in the last election cycle.

Thankfully, one of Alexander’s fellow Republicans, Mike Fasano, is able to easily identify the root of the deficiencies of private prisons, and has been challenging this plan from the get-go.

“Talk about a dangerous situation for the public! Because, in my opinion, privatizing our prisons, you bring a private company in, all they care about is the bottom line. That’s why they’re a company. That’s why they trade on the New York Stock Exchange, that’s why they trade on any exchange for that matter, they have stockholders, they have board members to be answerable to; therefore, they have to make a profit and by doing that, in my opinion, you put people at risk.”

(The article cited here goes into a lot more detail on the lack of oversight and transparency of the industry, which in turn results in a breakdown of accountability) (more…)

Previous post

Labor Falls in Line

Next post

Los Angeles Will Stop Paying Standard and Poor's to Rate Its Investments

Oxdown Diaries

Oxdown Diaries