SAGE Journal Articles
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Abstract: Evidence has been mixed as to whether private prisons are more effective than state-operated facilities in reducing recidivism. This study analyzes whether private prison confinement in Minnesota has had an impact on recidivism by examining 3,532 offenders released from prison between 2007 and 2009. Propensity score matching was used to individually match a comparison group of 1,766 inmates who had only been confined in state-run facilities with 1,766 offenders who had served time in a private prison facility. Using multiple measures of recidivism and private prison confinement, 20 Cox regression models were estimated. The results showed that offenders who had been incarcerated in a private prison had a greater hazard of recidivism in all 20 models, and the recidivism risk was significantly greater in 8 of the models. The evidence presented in this study suggests that private prisons are not more effective in reducing recidivism, which may be attributable to fewer visitation and rehabilitative programming opportunities for offenders incarcerated at private facilities.
Abstract: This study examines the effects of capacity-oriented and institutional-based factors on the proliferation of prison privatization by extending the first generation of empirical research. This study found that correction expenditures, prison capacity, and regional identity are factors that significantly affect the magnitude of prison privatization, whereas political pressures, government ideology, and unionization were found not to have a significant influence on the growth of private prisons. The results imply that, once adopted, prison privatization became institutionalized over time and suggest that state governments should develop well-structured evaluation systems for private prisons to ensure and maintain effective correction management.