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Impacts of Private Prison Contracting on Inmate Time Served and Recidivism

45 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2014 Last revised: 21 Aug 2017

Anita Mukherjee

University of Wisconsin - Madison - School of Business

Date Written: August 20, 2017

Abstract

I contribute new evidence on the impacts of private prison contracting by exploiting staggered prison capacity shocks in Mississippi between 1996 and 2004. I find that private prison inmates serve up to 90 additional days, which equals 7 percent of the average time served. The mechanism for this delayed release appears linked to the widespread use of conduct violations in private prisons. Despite the additional days served, I find no evidence that private prison inmates recidivate less. I nest both results in a theoretical model based on the typical private prison contract that pays a diem for each occupied bed.

Keywords: Privatization; Contracting; Private prisons; Incarceration; Recidivism; Parole; Infractions; Incomplete Contracting

JEL Classification: L33, H11, H72, D02

Suggested Citation

Mukherjee, Anita, Impacts of Private Prison Contracting on Inmate Time Served and Recidivism (August 20, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2523238 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2523238

Anita Mukherjee (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Madison - School of Business ( email )

975 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706
United States

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