Impacts of Private Prison Contracting on Inmate Time Served and Recidivism

62 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2014 Last revised: 8 Apr 2020

Date Written: April 7, 2020

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of private prison contracting by exploiting staggered prison capacity shocks in Mississippi. Motivated by a model based on the typical private prison contract that pays a per diem for each occupied bed, the empirical analysis shows that private prison inmates serve 90 additional days. This is alternatively estimated as 4.8 percent of the average sentence. The delayed release erodes half of the cost savings o ered by private contracting and is linked to the greater likelihood of conduct violations in private prisons. The additional days served do not lead to apparent changes in inmate recidivism.

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 (April 7, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2523238 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2523238

Anita Mukherjee (Contact Author)

Wisconsin School of Business ( email )

975 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.anitamukherjee.com

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