Most Private Prisons Have 'Lockup Quotas,' Must be 80-100% Full

| by Michael Allen
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Most people have heard of police writing traffic tickets to meet a monthly quota, but it was recently revealed that most private for-profit prisons have “lockup quotas” and “low crime taxes” in their contracts with U.S. states.

A new study by In the Public Interest says that 62 percent of private prison contracts require states to keep 80 to 100 percent of prison beds filled. If this human warehousing quota is not reached, the states have to pay for the empty beds.

The report says that when Colorado did not meet its lockup quotas because of dropping crime rates (more people obeying the law) Colorado taxpayers still had to pay $2 million to Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), reports

The Lake Erie Correctional Institution (also run by CCA) had a 90 percent lock-up quota deal with Ohio, which led to “cutting corners on safety, including overcrowding, areas without secure doors, and an increase in crime both inside the prison and the surrounding community,” says the study.

CCA donates millions to the Republican Governors Association to elect governors that will keep this corporate welfare plan safely in place, notes

Arizona, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Virginia have lockup quotas of 95 to 100 percent occupancy, which means those states are more likely to lock people up.

The prison industrial complex rakes in the money in Arizona, which has a 100 percent lockup quota and has jacked up its prices 13.9% for each prisoner.

In The Public Interest has created an online petition to stop these "lockup quotas."