The Ultimate Captive Market

    Now here’s a heads-they-win, tails-we-lose situation: Three of the contracts Arizona signed with private companies to house its prisoners require 100 percent occupancy.

    That’s right: If the state fails to send along enough jailbirds to fill all the beds, it pays a penalty. Nationwide, similar arrangements in two-thirds of these contracts either guarantee high prison occupancy or penalize taxpayers when there aren’t enough convicted criminals to keep behind bars.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site. You can also request a free sample by using our request form.