Annual Privatization Report 2013

2012 Corrections Privatization Overview

Subsection of Annual Privatization Report 2013: Criminal Justice and Corrections

» Return to Annual Privatization Report 2013: Criminal Justice and Corrections
» Return to Annual Privatization Report 2013 homepage

According to the most recent data compiled by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2011 marked the second year in a row with an overall decline in the total U.S. prison population from the previous year, reversing a decades-long trend of annual population increases.1

The federal and state prison population fell to 1,598,780 at the end of 2011, down 0.9% from 1,613,803 in 2010. This decline was largely due to a decrease in the total state prison population of over 21,000 since 2010, a 1.5% decline. The federal prison population grew over the same time period by over 6,500 prisoners, a 3.1% increase. Overall, there was a net decrease in the total U.S. prison population of over 15,000 between the end of 2010 and the end of 2011.

Over that same period, the total U.S. prison population housed in privately operated prisons increased slightly by 2.3% from 127,945 in 2010 to 130,941 in 2011. While the number of privately housed inmates at the federal level increased by 4,716 since 2010, this was offset by a decline in the state-level private prison population of 1,720.

At the federal and state level, the use of public-private partnerships in corrections has increased since 2000, as shown in Table 1. At the federal level, the total prison population rose from 145,416 in 2000 to 216,362 in 2011, an increase of 48.8%. By contrast, the number of federal prisoners housed in private facilities has risen by over 148% over that same period (from 15,524 in 2000 to 38,546 in 2011), illustrating federal agencies’ growing preference to rely on PPPs for new prison capacity, as opposed to developing government-run facilities. Accordingly, the share of federal prisoners housed in private prisons increased from 10.7% in 2000 to 17.8% in 2011.

At the state level, the share of offenders held in private facilities has also increased since 2000. The total state prison population rose from 1,248,815 in 2000 to 1,382,418 in 2011, a 10.7% increase. The number of those state prisoners housed in private facilities rose from 75,291 in 2000 to 92,395 in 2011 over that same time period, a 22.7% increase. Overall, the share of state prisoners housed in private prisons increased slightly from 6.0% in 2000 to 6.7% in 2011.

Table 1: Federal and State Prison Population in Private Facilities (2000-2011)

Year Total Federal Prisoners Federal Prisoners in Private Facilities % Federal Prisoners in Private Facilities Total State Prisoners State Prisoners in Private Facilities % State Prisoners in Private Facilities
2000 145,416 15,524 10.7% 1,248,815 75,291 6.0%
2001 156,993 19,251 12.3% 1,247,039 72,577 5.8%
2002 163,528 20,274 12.4% 1,276,616 73,638 5.8%
2003 173,059 21,865 12.6% 1,295,542 73,842 5.7%
2004 180,328 24,768 13.7% 1,316,772 73,860 5.6%
2005 187,618 27,046 14.4% 1,338,292 80,894 6.0%
2006 193,046 27,726 14.4% 1,375,628 85,971 6.2%
2007 199,618 31,310 15.7% 1,397,217 92,632 6.6%
2008 201,280 33,162 16.5% 1,407,002 96,320 6.8%
2009 208,118 34,087 16.4% 1,407,369 95,246 6.8%
2010 209,771 33,830 16.1% 1,404,032 94,115 6.7%
2011 216,362 38,546 17.8% 1,382,418 92,395 6.7%
Average annual % change, 2000–2010 3.3% 7.1% n/a 1.1% 2.0% n/a
Percent change, 2010–2011 3.1% 13.9% n/a -1.5% -1.8% n/a

Sources:
Total federal and state prison population data: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2011, December 2012, p. 2, http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/p11.pdf (accessed January 23, 2013).
Federal and state private prison population data (2000, 2010, 2011): U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2011, December 2012, p. 32, http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/p11.pdf (accessed January 23, 2013).
Federal and state private prison population data (2001-2009): U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2010, February 2012, p. 30, http://goo.gl/73pVs (accessed January 23, 2013).
Percent federal and state population in private facilities (and related percent changes): Author's calculation.

Taken together, the total federal and state prison population increased by over 14% from 2000 to 2011, rising from 1.39 million to nearly 1.6 million (see Table 2 and Figure 1). By comparison, the federal and state inmate population housed in private facilities increased by 44% over the same time period and now accounts for 8.2% of the total prison population. While these data certainly reflect an increasing reliance on corrections PPPs by federal and state officials over the last decade, the vast majority of inmates—nearly 92%—continue to be housed in government-run prisons.

Table 2: Change in Private Prison Population (2000-2011)

Year Total Federal and State Prison Population Federal and State Population in Private Facilities % Federal and State Population in Private Facilities
2000 1,394,231 90,815 6.5%
2001 1,404,032 91,828 6.5%
2002 1,440,144 93,912 6.5%
2003 1,468,601 95,707 6.5%
2004 1,497,100 98,628 6.6%
2005 1,525,910 107,940 7.1%
2006 1,568,674 113,697 7.2%
2007 1,596,835 123,942 7.8%
2008 1,608,282 129,482 8.1%
2009 1,615,487 129,333 8.0%
2010 1,613,803 127,945 7.9%
2011 1,598,780 130,941 8.2%
Average annual % change, 2000–2010 1.3% 3.1% n/a
Percent change, 2010-2011 -0.9% 2.3% n/a

Sources:
Total federal and state prison population data: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2011, December 2012, p. 2, http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/p11.pdf (accessed January 23, 2013).
Federal and state private prison population data (2000, 2010, 2011): U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2011, December 2012, p. 32, http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/p11.pdf (accessed January 23, 2013).
Federal and state private prison population data (2001-2009): U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2010, February 2012, p. 30, http://goo.gl/73pVs (accessed January 23, 2013).
Percent federal and state population in private facilities (and related percent changes): Author's calculation.

Figure 1. Proportion of Publicly vs. Privately Operated Prison Population (2000-2011)

State usage of corrections PPPs varies considerably, as shown in Table 3. Some states have large numbers of their inmate populations in privately operated facilities—including New Mexico (40.8%), Montana (38.6%), Alaska (31.0%) and Vermont (25.4%)—while other states make limited use of corrections PPPs, including Pennsylvania (2.3%), Alabama (1.7%), Kansas (0.8%), Maryland (0.3%), Wisconsin (0.1%) and South Dakota (0.1%).

Table 3.Federal and State Prisoners in Private Facilities, by jurisdiction, 2000-2011

Jurisdiction Inmates in Private Facilities (2000) Inmates in Private Facilities (2010) Inmates in Private Facilities (2011) Percent of Total Jurisdictional Population, 2011
Alabama 0 1,024 545 1.7%
Alaska 1,383 1,598 1,679 31.0%
Arizona 1,430 5,356 6,457 16.1%
Arkansas 1,540 0 0 0.0%
California 4,547 2,170 697 0.5%
Colorado 2,099 4,498 4,303 19.6%
Connecticut n/a 883 855 4.7%
Delaware 0 0 0 0.0%
Florida 3,912 11,796 11,827 11.5%
Georgia 3,746 5,233 5,615 10.0%
Hawaii 1,187 1,931 1,767 29.3%
Idaho 1,163 2,236 2,332 30.1%
Illinois n/a 0 0 0.0%
Indiana 991 2,817 2,952 10.2%
Iowa 0 0 0 0.0%
Kansas n/a 0 74 0.8%
Kentucky 1,268 2,127 2,050 9.5%
Louisiana 3,065 2,921 2,951 7.4%
Maine 11 0 0 0.0%
Maryland 127 70 78 0.3%
Massachusetts n/a 0 0 0.0%
Michigan 449 0 0 0.0%
Minnesota 0 0 0 0.0%
Mississippi 3,230 5,241 4,669 21.8%
Missouri 0 0 0 0.0%
Montana 986 1,502 1,418 38.6%
Nebraska 0 0 0 0.0%
Nevada 508 0 0 0.0%
New Hampshire 0 0 0 0.0%
New Jersey 2,498 2,841 2,887 12.1%
New Mexico 2,132 2,905 2,853 40.8%
New York 0 0 0 0.0%
North Carolina 330 208 30 0.1%
North Dakota 96 0 0 0.0%
Ohio 1,918 3,038 3,004 5.9%
Oklahoma 6,931 6,019 6,026 23.2%
Oregon 0 0 0 0.0%
Pennsylvania 0 1,015 1,195 2.3%
Rhode Island n/a 0 0 0.0%
South Carolina 13 17 20 0.1%
South Dakota 45 5 11 0.3%
Tennessee 3,510 5,120 5,147 18.1%
Texas 17,432 19,155 18,603 10.8%
Utah 208 0 0 0.0%
Vermont 0 562 522 25.4%
Virginia 1,571 1,560 1,569 4.1%
Washington 0 0 0 0.0%
West Virginia 0 0 0 0.0%
Wisconsin 4,349 50 14 0.1%
Wyoming 275 217 245 11.2%
State Total 75,291 94,115 92,395 6.7%
Federal Total 15,524 33,830 38,546 17.8%
U.S. Total 90,815 127,945 130,941 8.2%

Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2011, December 2012, p. 32, http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/p11.pdf (accessed January 23, 2013).

» Return to Annual Privatization Report 2013: Criminal Justice and Corrections
» Return to Annual Privatization Report 2013 homepage


Endnotes

1 U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2011, December 2012, http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/p11.pdf (accessed January 23, 2013).

Leonard Gilroy is Director of Government Reform





;