Letter to the Editor: Another Economic View of Private Prisons


Mr. Crowder makes a good case for not closing private prisons, and I understand completely how much the money is needed in the communities, but he does not address the reason this law was proposed. The choice is to either close the private prisons or find some way to hold them accountable. The efforts to hold them accountable have not worked.

Private prisons cost less because they charge the prisoners for every single thing they can, hundreds of dollars that the families provide if they don’t want their incarcerated person to suffer. I had a family member in for six months and the stories he told about his experiences were horrifying (to be transparent, these experiences were in Colorado, but not in SE Colorado). I don’t think private prisons are held accountable enough. Everything they can deny the inmates makes them money, so they cut corners to the bone, and then they charge the inmates much more than an item would cost outside. It is to the company’s benefit to have high prison populations. That is not a benefit to the people of Colorado.

As for the economy, what will a private prison do with a facility they can’t use except to sell it to the state or local agency to operate? If they do, perhaps the effects on the local economy may not be as great as Mr. Crowder suggests. State run prisons may not pay property tax, but they do hire people.

Thank you for listening to the other side of this problem.

Caroline Hedge
Lamar, Colorado

Filed Under: Consumer IssuesLetters to the Editor

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