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New South Wales (Australia) Parliament Report Supports Prison Privatization

Leonard Gilroy
June 30, 2009, 11:02pm

Prison privatization is not just a U.S. phenomenon, but rather a management tool used in numerous other countries, including Australia and the U.K. And while the location may vary, the public policy issues surrounding private prisons are very similar. Hence, there is an opportunity for U.S. policymakers to learn from their counterparts overseas, particularly given the growing interest in prison privatization in U.S. states as they grapple with major fiscal issues and work to rein in inflating corrections budgets.

In this context, a recently released New South Wales (Australia) Parliament report on prison privatization couldn't have come at a better time. Prepared by a general purpose Parliamentary committee, the report details the results of the committee's inquiry into the privatization of prisons and prison-related services in NSW, covering such topics as cost savings, public safety and escape rates, rehabilitation programs, staffing levels and the impact of privatization on publicly managed prisons.

The 228-page report (available here) is quite thorough and largely positive on prison privatization, well worth a read for anyone interested in the subject. Here are a few of the inquiry's more relevant findings:

These findings are generally consistent with Reason Foundation's corrections-related work, which is available here

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Leonard Gilroy is Director of Government Reform


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