We Tried to Make Them Offer Rehab, but They Said, "No, No, No!": Incentivizing Private Prison Reform Through the Private Prisoner Rehabilitation Credit

April
2014
Cassandre Monique Davilmar

Mass incarceration in the United States has led many state governments to hand over the management and construction of prisons to private corporations, which are able to meet demand more quickly and are perceived as more cost-effective. There are approximately 100 private prisons housing about 62,000 inmates today, and this number is expected to increase to 360,000 in the coming decade. Unfortunately, private prisons have failed to effectively address many of the issues pervasive in public prisons—namely recidivism, violence, and poor living conditions. Furthermore, the government-customer has failed to effectively hold private prisons accountable for their failures. As a solution this Note proposes the Private Prisoner Rehabilitation (PPR) credit: a performance-based, refundable tax credit that incentivizes private prisons to address some of the key issues plaguing the criminal justice system.

This article appears in the April 2014 Issue: Volume 89, Number 1