† Criminal InJustice is a weekly series devoted to taking action against inequities in the U.S. criminal justice system. Nancy A. Heitzeg, Professor of Sociology and Race/Ethnicity, is the Editor of CI. Kay Whitlock, co-author of Queer (In)Justice, is contributing editor of CI. Criminal Injustice is published every Wednesday at 6 pm.
Follow the Money: Private Prison Industry Funds Skewed Research
by nancy a heitzeg
This is an on-going story that isn’t new, probably isn’t unique, but which certainly serves as a case study in collusion. It offers a road map for what surely lies ahead. In April of 2013, Temple University Economics Professors Simon Hakim and Erwin Blackstone released “a working study” (please note, this study has yet to be peer-reviewed or published) touting cost savings of “12- 58%” when states use private prisons. The study was widely touted as “independent research” by Correctional Corporations of America (CCA) and further published on the GEO Group website, which ties the study to The Independent Institute, a free market/free for all “think” tank. GEO also links to glowing op-eds published across the nation:
- The Blade (Ohio): Privately run prisons offer value to Ohio Click here to read more
- Detriot Free Press (Michigan): Data Shows Running Prisons for Profit is a Win-Win Click here to read more
- Kennebec Journal (Maine): Private prisons offer big savings for corrections budget Click here to read more
- The State Journal (Kentucky): State would benefit from private prisons Click here to read more
- NewsOK (Oklahoma): Temple economics professors: Private prisons make fiscal sense Click here to read more
- SunSentinel (Florida): Blackstone, Hakim: Prison privatization can provide real benefits Click here to read more
- The Daily Caller: Study Finds Private Prisons Offer Massive Cost Savings Click here to read more
- Highland Community News: States Reap Huge Savings When They Contract with Private Prisons, New Study Finds Click here to read more
Buried in the fine print ( sometimes omitted altogether) was this:
The study received funding by members of the private corrections industry.