Prisoners' Rights

Prisons for Profit

07.20.12

In April 2011, the ACLU of Ohio released “Prisons for Profit: A look at prison privatization“. The report examines the problems faced by other states when they have privatized their prisons system. While yielding little cost savings, privatization poses substantial security and financial risks in communities that have housed them.

The ACLU also expressed concern that private prisons could undermine other needed criminal justice reforms by decreasing educational programming and not prioritizing reducing the inmate population.

In August 2011, the state announced that it would sell and privatize Lake Erie Correctional Institution in Conneaut to Corrections Corporation of America. This marked the first time a state has sold a prison to a private company. In early 2012, CCA sent a letter to 48 states offering to purchase other prisons, while claiming the sale of the Lake Erie facility was ‘seamless.’ The ACLU challenged some of CCA’s assertions about the sale.