Policy Study

Weighing the Watchmen: Evaluating the Costs and Benefits of Outsourcing Correctional Services

Part 1: Employing a Best Value Approach to Procurement

Prison populations in the United States have swelled over the last 20 years. Fiscal constraints at the federal, state, and local levels have left few funds available for the accommodation of new prisoners, and overcrowding is a serious problem at many of the nation’s jails and prisons. In response, correctional authorities have turned to the private sector by contracting for the construction, financing, and operation of private prisons.