In 2012, New Hampshire’s corrections department invited for-profit corporations to submit proposals to operate the state’s prisons. In response, AFSC and allies launched a statewide education campaign about for-profit prisons, which are associated with high levels of violence and reduced labor standards.
The campaign was a success. In April, the state announced that it had cancelled all consideration of privatization. It found that none of the submitted proposals met standards for inmate care. The state also concluded that the low wages and benefits proposed by the corporations would lead to labor shortages—consistent with AFSC’s findings in Arizona, where AFSC has studied the record of private prisons.
Though the state’s decision is a clear win, AFSC will continue to work for a permanent ban on private prisons. “With the door to privatization closed, it’s time to lock it and move on to development of sensible approaches to crime and corrections,” says Arnie Alpert.