As states struggle to reduce prison overcrowding and tight budgets, a private prison management company, Corrections Corporation of America, is offering to buy prisons in exchange for a controversial guarantee that the governments maintain a 90% occupancy rate for at least 20 years, reported the USA Today.
CCA purchased the 1,798-bed Lake Erie Correctional Institution
from the state of Ohio for $72.7 million. Ohio officials lauded the September
transaction, saying that private management of the facility would save a
projected $3 million annually. Ohio is the first state to sell an existing prison to a private corporation.
Linda Janes, chief of staff for the Ohio Department of
Rehabilitation and Correction, said the purchase came at time when the state was
facing a $8 billion shortfall. The $72.7 million prison purchase was aimed at
helping to fill a $188 million deficit within the corrections agency, reported the USA Today.
Ohio's deal requires the state to maintain a 90% occupancy
rate, but Janes said that provision remains in effect for 18 months — not 20
years — before it can be renegotiated. As part of the deal, Ohio pays the
company a monthly fee, totaling $3.8 million per year.
To read more: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-03-01/buying-prisons-require-high-occupancy/53402894/1