Criminal Justice

What's New

Prison Health Care: Healing a Sick System through Private Competition

April 15, 2003 in Publications

The primary function of government is to protect the lives, liberty and property of its citizens. Public safety is thus essential to the continuance of civil society. Public safety depends on a reliable and effective criminal justice system, and central to the administration of justice is a humane, secure and efficient prison system.

Private Prisons Would Help Lawmakers Get Soaring Costs Under Control

March 18, 2003 in Publications

The single most important problem our state legislators face this year is the need to pass a balanced budget. Right now lawmakers are looking for any means possible to close the projected budget gap, by boosting taxes and fees, trimming planned spending increases, or some combination of both.

New Research Shows Private Prisons Enable State to Improve Quality and Control Costs

in Press releases

Seattle - A study released today by Washington Policy Center presents new research on how states can improve quality and control cost by taking advantage of private prison services. The study notes that Department of Corrections spending is one of the fastest-growing areas of state expenditure and is contributing significantly to the looming $2.4 budget deficit.

Private Prisons and the Public Interest: Improving Quality and Reducing Costs through Competition

February 25, 2003 in Publications

The cost of maintaining Washington’s state-run prison system is becoming increasingly unsustainable. The state Department of Corrections budget has more than doubled over the last ten years, rising from $502 million in the 1991-1993 biennium to $1,072 million in the current biennium. Corrections costs rose more than 12.3% over the last two years, a rate more than four times faster than inflation. The increasing cost of operating the state prison system has outpaced the rise in total General Fund spending in every biennium in the 1990s, and is now one of the fastest growing areas of state spending.

Private Prisons and the Public Interest: Improving Quality and Reducing Cost through Competition

February 15, 2003 in Publications

The primary function of government is to protect the lives, liberty and property of its citizens. Public safety is thus essential to the continuance of civil society. Public safety depends on a reliable and effective criminal justice system, and central to the administration of justice is a humane, secure and efficient prison system.

State Should Not Release 1,900 Criminals

in Press releases

Seattle - In response to a request from Governor Locke to find 15 percent in budget savings the state Department of Corrections suggested releasing 1,900 inmates back onto the streets. A recent study by Washington Policy Center shows this drastic measure is not necessary. "Private Prisons: A Sensible Solution," explains how competitive contracting can be used to reduce cost and increase quality in the state prison system which would avoid resorting to early release of criminals.

Private Prisons: A Sensible Solution

August 17, 2001 in Publications

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 over 4,800 more prisoners than originally planned. At the local level, city and county jails throughout the state are at 110% of design capacity.

Private Prisons: A Sensible Solution

August 8, 2001 in Publications

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.

New Study Finds Private Prisons Increase Quality and Reduce Cost

in Press releases

Seattle -- A new study by the Washington Policy Center found that 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 over 4,800 more prisoners than originally planned. At the local level, city and county jails throughout the state are at 110% of design capacity.

Private Prisons: A Sensible Solution

August 2, 2001 in Publications

The prison system in Washington state is being severely stretched by overcrowding, threatening the safety of the staff, the inmates and the surrounding communities. 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.