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Lockup Quotas and “Low-Crime Taxes”

Today we released a report titled “Criminal: How Lockup Quotas and ‘Low-Crime Taxes’ Guarantee Profits for Private Prison Corporations.” 

The study documents the shocking prevalence of contract language between private prison companies and state and local governments that guarantee prison occupancy rates, which can accurately be described as “lockup quotas.”

If the quota is not met due to lower crime rates and a falling prison population, taxpayers are forced to pay for empty beds in what essentially amounts to a “low-crime tax” on communities.

Lockup quotas can have broad negative implications beyond obvious financial concerns and should be prohibited in any private prison contract. This is why I am asking you to share our report infographic.

The more people are aware of lockup quotas the more we as a community are empowered to prevent this type of predatory language from existing in private prison contracts.

65 percent of the private prison contracts ITPI received and analyzed either guarantee lockup quotas or force taxpayers to pay for empty beds (“low-crime taxes”).

Taxpayers should not be penalized for lower-crime rates. The elimination of lockup quotas will allow lawmakers to enact policies that are in the public interest, not in a private prison corporation’s financial interests.

Read our report and share our infographic so others including decision makers can avoid the pitfalls that come with lockup quotas