Commentary: LA’s High Incarceration Rate Drives Costs, Privatizing Prisons Doesn’t Solve Problem

Privatizing a state-run prison in Avoyelles Parish might save the state some money, but it would come at a steep cost to state workers and public safety, according to a new commentary by the Louisiana Budget Project. Still, the Legislature deserves praise for scrapping an earlier plan to sell the Avoyelles Correctional Center.

Here is an excerpt from the report by LBP budget analyst Steve Spires:

While privatization may reduce the state’s costs in the short-term, it is the wrong way to save money in a state that leads the world in incarceration. A better way to lower the state’s prison costs is through policies that result in fewer people being locked up for non-violent offenses in the first place, and investments in programs that reduce the risk of offenders committing another crime and being sent back to prison.

Read the full commentary here.

They include details about safety-net programs like Medicaid, tax credits for low-income workers and educational scholarships and help promote a better understanding of how safety-net programs affect different communities across our state.
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