Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ohio's private prison plan based on faulty projections

Last fall, Ohio became the first state to sell an existing state prison to a private prison company.  Ohio Governor John Kasich originally proposed the sale of five Ohio prisons – a dramatic expansion of the state’s 10-year-old prison-privatization experiment – as a way to save millions of dollars in the face a deep budget crisis.  The state only sold the one prison.

A study by Policy Matters Ohio has found that Ohio was not accurate with regard to their prison privatization savings projections.

A close look at the sale of the Lake Erie facility to Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) suggests that that deal, rather than saving up to $3 million a year as the state projects, could easily wind up costing taxpayers millions of dollars instead. In addition, the state’s claim that private operation of the combined Marion facility will save another $3 million a year is based on what appear to be highly dubious accounting assumptions that one expert calls “bogus” and that seem to bear little relation to reality.

It has been recently revealed that Ohio's deal with CCA required the state to maintain a 90 percent occupancy rate in the know privately owned prison.

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