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Criminal Lockup Quota Report

Criminal Lockup Quota Report

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Published by Patricia Dillon
£ 65 percent of the private prison contracts ITPI received and analyzed included occupancy
guarantees in the form of quotas or required payments for empty prison cells (a “low-crime tax”).
These quotas and low-crime taxes put taxpayers on the hook for guaranteeing profits for private
prison corporations.
£ Occupancy guarantee clauses in private prison contracts range between 80% and 100%, with
90% as the most frequent occupancy guarantee requirement.
£ Arizona, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Virginia are locked in contracts with the highest
occupancy guarantee requirements, with all quotas requiring between 95% and 100% occupancy - Public Interest
£ 65 percent of the private prison contracts ITPI received and analyzed included occupancy
guarantees in the form of quotas or required payments for empty prison cells (a “low-crime tax”).
These quotas and low-crime taxes put taxpayers on the hook for guaranteeing profits for private
prison corporations.
£ Occupancy guarantee clauses in private prison contracts range between 80% and 100%, with
90% as the most frequent occupancy guarantee requirement.
£ Arizona, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Virginia are locked in contracts with the highest
occupancy guarantee requirements, with all quotas requiring between 95% and 100% occupancy - Public Interest

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Published by: Patricia Dillon on Sep 20, 2013
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04/14/2014

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Ho w Locup Quotas andLo w-Crime  Ta xesGuarantee Profts
 
or Pri vate Prison Corporations
A Publication o 
In the Public Interest 
 | 
SePTember 2013
 C r i m i na l
..
 
In THePubLICInTereST
 
How Lockup Quotas and “Low-Crime Taxes” Guarantee Profts Guarantee Profts
 
Major Findings
£
 65 pct of th pivat piso cotacts
ITPI received and analyzed included occupancyguarantees in the orm o quotas or required payments or empty prison cells (a “low-crime tax”). These quotas and low-crime taxes put taxpayers on the hook or guaranteeing prots or privateprison corporations.
£
 Occpacy gaat class
in private prison contracts range between 80% and 100%, with90% as the most requent occupancy guarantee requirement.
£
 Aizoa, Loisiaa, Oklahoa ad Vigiia 
are locked in contracts with the highestoccupancy guarantee requirements, with all quotas requiring between 95% and 100% occupancy.
State-specic Findings:
£
 Coloado:
 Though crime has dropped by a third in the past decade, an occupancy requirementcovering three or-prot prisons has orced taxpayers to pay an additional $ million.
£
 Aizoa:
  Three Arizona or-prot prison contracts have a staggering 100% quota, even though a01 analysis rom Tucson Citizen shows that the company’s per-day charge or each prisoner hasincreased an average o 13.9% over the lie o the contracts.
£
 Ohio: 
A 0-year deal to privately operate the Lake Erie Correctional Institution includes a 90% quota,and has contributed to cutting corners on saety, including overcrowding, areas without secure doorsand an increase in crime both inside the prison and the surrounding community.
 
In THePubLICInTereST
 
How Lockup Quotas and “Low-Crime Taxes” Guarantee Profts Guarantee Profts
 
3
Introduction
I
 2012, Coctios Copoatio of Aica (CCA)
, the largest or-prot private prison company in thecountry, sent a letter to 48 state governors oering to buy their public prisons. CCA oered to buy and operate a state’sprison in exchange or a 0-year contract, which would include a 90 percent occupancy rate guarantee or the entireterm.
1
Essentially, the state would have to guarantee that its prison would be 90 percent lled or the next 0 years (aquota), or pay the company or unused prison beds i the number o inmates dipped below 90 percent capacity at anypoint during the contract term (a “low-crime tax” that essentially penalizes taxpayers when prison incarceration rates all).Fortunately, no state took CCA up on its outrageous oer. But many private prison companies have been successul atinserting occupancy guarantee provisions into prison privatization contracts, requiring states to maintain high occupancylevels in their private prisons.For example, three privately-run prisons in Arizona are governed by contracts that contain 100 percent inmate quotas.
 The state o Arizona is contractually obligated to keep these prisons lled to 100 percent capacity, or pay the privatecompany or any unused beds. These contract clauses incentivize keeping prison beds lled, which runs counter tomany states’ public policy goals o reducing the prison population and increasingeorts or inmate rehabilitation. When policymakers received the 01 CCA letter,some worried the terms o CCA’s oer would encourage criminal justice ocials toseek harsher sentences to maintain the occupancy rates required by a contract.
3
 Policy decisions should be based on creating and maintaining a just criminal justicesystem that protects the public interest, not ensuring corporate prots.Bed guarantee provisions are also costly or state and local governments. Asexamples in the report show, these clauses can orce corrections departmentsto pay thousands, sometimes millions, or unused beds — a “low-crime tax” thatpenalizes taxpayers when they achieve what should be a desired goal o lowerincarceration rates. The private prison industry oten claims that prison privatizationsaves states money. Numerous studies and audits have shown these claims o costsavings to be illusory
4
, and bed occupancy requirements are one way that privateprison companies lock in infated costs ater the contract is signed.
1
Chris Kirkham, “Private Prison Corporation Oers Cash in Exchange or State Prisons,” Hungton Post, February 14, 01. http://www.hungtonpost.com/01/0/14/private-prisons-buying-state-prisons_n_17143.html 
American Friends Service Committee o Arizona, Cell-Out Arizona Exclusive, “Part II: Arizona For-Prot Prison Costs Rose 14%; Now Guarantee 100% Occupancy,”August 3, 01. http://tucsoncitizen.com/cell-out-arizona/01/08/03/cell-out-arizona-exclusive-part-ii-arizona-or-prot-prison-costs-rose14-now-guarantee-100-occupancy/ 
3
Kevin Johnson, “Private purchasing o prisons locks in occupancy rates,” March 8, 01. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/01-03-01/buying-prisons-require-high-occupancy/5340894/1 
4
A Sept. 010 report by Arizona’s Oce o the Auditor General ound that privately-operated prisons housing minimum-security state prisoners actually cost $.33per diem more than state prisons ($46.81 per diem in state prisons vs. $47.14 in private prisons), while private prisons that house medium-security state prisonerscost $7.76 per diem more than state acilities ($48.13 per diem in state prisons vs. $55.89 in private prisons), ater adjusting or comparable costs. See:http://www.azauditor.gov/Reports/State_Agencies/Agencies/Corrections_Department_o/Perormance/10-08/10-08.pd 
“You don’t want a prison systemoperating with the goal o maximizing prots…The only thing worse is that this seeks totake advantage o some states’ troubled nancial position.” 
T
exas
 
sTaTe
 s
en
. J
ohn
W
hiTmire
 
in response to the CCA letter 

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