Judith Greene

Judith Greene, a criminal-justice-policy analyst, has researched prison privatization under fellowships from the Open Society Institute of the Soros Foundation and the Institute on Criminal Justice of the University of Minnesota Law School.

Recent Articles

Bailing Out Private Jails

T he private-prison industry is in trouble. For close to a decade, its business boomed and its stock prices soared because state legislators across the country thought they could look both tough on crime and fiscally conservative if they contracted with private companies to handle the growing multitudes being sent to prison under the new, more severe sentencing laws. But then reality set in: accumulating press reports about gross deficiencies and abuses at private prisons; lawsuits; million-dollar fines. By last year, not a single state was soliciting new private-prison contracts. Many existing contracts were rolled back or even rescinded. The companies' stock prices went through the floor. Here was one experiment in the privatization of public services that might have limped to a well-deserved close. But instead, the federal government seems to be rushing to the industry's rescue. Consider just the last 12 months, and just the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the country's...