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Research & Policy
Policy Matters Ohio

Cells for Sale: Understanding Prison Costs & Savings

April 11, 2011

Cells for Sale: Understanding Prison Costs & Savings

April 11, 2011

Since the first private prisons were opened in Ohio in 2000, Ohio law has required that any private operator produce savings of at least 5 percent compared to what it would cost the state to operate the same facility. This April 2011 report, written by journalist Bob Paynter for Policy Matters Ohio, finds that cost calculations performed over a number of years by the state have not reliably demonstrated the savings required under the law. A demonstration of lower cost is not sufficient reason to give over this most sensitive government function to private, profit-making companies. But now, with the Kasich administration proposing to sell five state-owned prisons, Paynter’s findings undercut the primary rationale that has been given for doing so.

Press Release

Executive Summary

Full Report

Response to ODRC statement

Testimony to Senate Finance Committee


"Why the rush to sell Ohio's assets?" - Op-ed in the Toledo Blade by Zach Schiller

Private Prisons Found to Offer Little in Savings                                                                     New York Times



2011Budget PolicyPrivatizationRevenue & Budget

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