An analyst with an Iowa-based think tank says prisons should be run privately. With the state looking at still more ways to cut spending, analyst David Hogberg says it should take a look at privatizing prisons. There are a handful of companies now in the business of operating prisons in several states, and they win their bids on promises of operating at a lower cost than states can do it themselves. Hogberg says private prisons realize savings with more efficient operation, but critics, including labor unions, say they hire guards at rock-bottom wages, understaff prisons and cut corners, leaving inmates subject to violence and disorder and a higher risk of escapes. The Public Interest Institute, based at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, is more than a decade old.
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