States may not be getting the financial benefits that the $5 billion private prison industry advertises. Anita Mukherjee, an assistant professor of actuarial science, risk management, and insurance at the Wisconsin School of Business, conducted what is believed to be the first study comparing public and private prisons. Mukherjee reviewed data from private prisons in Mississippi and found that those inmates spend up to two to three more months behind bars than inmates in public prisons, leading to an average additional cost per prisoner of about $3,000. They are also equally likely to commit more crimes after release.
Published in the Winter 2015 issue