Prison Policy Initiative Debunks “Myth” That Contractor-Operated Prisons Contribute To Mass Incarceration
March 22, 2022
WASHINGTON, DC – In a new report released last week titled “Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2022,” the non-profit Prison Policy Initiative thoroughly debunks as “the first myth” that correctional facilities operated by private sector contractors are somehow responsible for mass incarceration in America. This new Prison Policy Initiative report compiles “national data sources to offer the most comprehensive view of how many people are locked up in the U.S. – and where they are being held – since the COVID-19 pandemic began.”
Specifically, the Prison Policy Initiative states that the “the first myth” in criminal justice policy is the supposed relationship between contractor-operated prisons and mass incarceration, noting that contractors house “less than 8% of all incarcerated people,” making them “a relatively small part of a mostly publicly-run correctional system”:
The first myth: Private prisons are the corrupt heart of mass incarceration
In fact, less than 8% of all incarcerated people are held in private prisons; the vast majority are in publicly-owned prisons and jails. …
Private prisons and jails hold less than 8% of all incarcerated people, making them a relatively small part of a mostly publicly-run correctional system.
The Day 1 Alliance released the following statement by National Spokesperson Alexandra Wilkes on the new report:
“This comprehensive, data-driven report confirms once again that contractors remain a limited but valued part of the broader U.S. criminal justice system. Only by getting these basic facts straight – and calling out the common myths and politically-motivated falsehoods – can we achieve good policy that drives positive outcomes for the men and women in our care.”
The report also includes the following infographic highlighting the limited role that contractors play in the overall U.S. criminal justice system:
Note: The report falsely, and without evidence, accuses contractors of having “lobbied to maintain high levels of incarceration.” This is inaccurate. In fact, Day 1 Alliance members – including CoreCivic, The GEO Group, Management & Training Corporation, and LaSalle Corrections – have long-standing, zero-tolerance policies against lobbying for or against policies, regulations, or legislation that impact the basis for or duration of an individual’s incarceration or detention.
About the Day 1 Alliance:
The Day 1 Alliance (D1A) is a trade association representing private sector contractors helping government agencies address corrections and detention challenges in the United States. For more than 35 years, D1A members have worked with local, state, and federal governments led by members of both political parties to provide professional, humane, and respectful treatment to incarcerated and detained individuals. From day one, we understand we have a responsibility to provide safe and dignified care to those in our facilities. D1A members do not lobby for or against policies, regulations, or legislation that impact the basis for or duration of an individual’s incarceration or detention.
The members of the Day 1 Alliance are CoreCivic, The GEO Group, Management & Training Corporation, and LaSalle Corrections.