Private Prisons: A Sensible Solution
Eric Montague, Policy Analyst, August, 2001
The prison system in Washington state is being severely stretched by overcrowding, threatening the safety of the staff, the inmates and the surrounding communities. State run facilities average 141% of design capacity, housing more than 4,800 more prisoners than originally planned. At the local level, city and county jails throughout the state are at 110% of design capacity.
Without new prisons, law enforcement officials will be forced to make difficult decisions about which dangerous criminals should be incarcerated and which should be allowed back onto the street. Unfortunately, because of tight budgets and other pressing needs, building enough government run prisons to safely hold the increasing inmate population is not financially feasible.