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Do you think Kansas should have private prisons?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on March 26, 2006

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Photo of Chuck Deason

“Sure, for the economic development and to relieve some of the pressure on the state.”

Photo of Loralee Stevens

“Private for-profit prisons would be less likely to use money for rehabilitation, and rehabilitation is important because 90 percent of the people who are in prison will be out in the next 10 years.”

Photo of Pack Matthews

“Only if they are willing to trade for having publicly owned and managed utilities. See how many of the energy companies won’t quit and open up a prison.”

Photo of Caroline Bennett

“I don’t think so. I don’t really know that much about it, but I don’t see what the benefit would be.”

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sunflower_sue 12 years, 1 month ago

OK, I have some questions: "Where does the money come from to run a private prison?"

"If the money comes from the state, isn't it a state prison?"

"How does a prison make money?"

"Will it be a club med prison and the inmate will pay to go there?"

"How does inmate feel about this?"

Jayhawk226 12 years, 1 month ago

I thought I was already in a prison....


pelliott 12 years, 1 month ago

One of the problems of privitising public services is the state is still responsible for delivery of the services. the theory is the government is so bloated and corrupt through decades of inbreeding combined with the bulky legislative management athority that just hiring an outside party cuts the government red tape cost. Lots of problems, lots of problems. Like with the privatising of roads, the costs rise and the people pay, it is the company that charges instead of a guy who votes in topeka that was elected. The state gets a lesser cut of the moolaa. Another layer to feed. Many of the private efforts in other states have revealed, torture and brutality, coruption of service delivery. I know that many believe that if someone is in the system there is no limit to the amount of abuse and degradation they 'deserve". I am so ashamed of the abuses, torture and lack of accountability that I would almost say, lets go private, the government seems not to be embarassed by the tyrant attitude of hidden horrors behind stone walls. i wonder if the private companies can be sued and trusted.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 1 month ago

pellioit has it right. Private prisons elsewhere have been a dismal failure. The corporations running these prisons do so only for money, and the prisoners and their families suffer the consequences. Some of you may say they deserve it, but eventually nearly everyone of these folks will be out and rubbing elbows with you and your family, and if they are bitter and ill-prepared for life on the outside, we all pay, and pay dearly.

Another aspect is that private prisons create a vested interest group, and like all businesses, they want growth. How do they grow? By having more prisoners. They'll use their money to buy influence with legislators to ensure a steady supply, regardless of whether that is what is best for those going through the criminal justice system, or society as a whole. It's called the prison-industrial complex.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 1 month ago

Consider that housing prisoners can cost taxpayers approximately $150k per year for males and around $300k for females it might do well to evaluate this idea. Private prisions will hit taxpayers hard in the pocketbooks. Private corporations over charge taxpayers with some degree of consistentency.

About 50% of prisoners could be non violent. Before spending big bucks on more prisons let's clear out the non violent offenders. It might cost less money to release this segment of the prison population with a one year guranteed training at a VO-Tech plus 6 months rent. Get them on their way with skilled training and a roof over their head. This is treatment and will not cost the $50k-100k to have them remain locked up for another year. The state would make payment to respective schools and a property manager.

Kathleen Christian 12 years, 1 month ago

Bozo you are onto something here - If prisons were to go private it would evolve into a prison-industrial-complex and guess what?? I can see our personal freedoms being systemically taken away from us. How else would the PIC get their customers. Then before long people will be inprisoned just for chewing gum in public (just about). NO, the system's not perfect by far, however it should stay the way it is. The government needs to take responsibility for overhauling the prison system. If they'd get their act together and stop being so concerned about image and do some REAL work perhaps this could be accomplished.

DaREEKKU 12 years, 1 month ago

It is not the job of you and I to run prisons, it is a function of the state (although I believe our penile system should be reviewed).

yourworstnightmare 12 years, 1 month ago

I'm telling you, prison vouchers are the way to go. Each convict would get $100k per year to use at the prison of his/her choice, whether it be public or private.

It's time to break up this big government, spend and spend Department of Corrections monopoly on prisons. Support the "Freedom of Incarceration" measure!

yourworstnightmare 12 years, 1 month ago


My penile system is working just fine, thank you. I think you meant penal.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 1 month ago

Money for prisons but not public schools?

Prison vouchers....hmmmmmm what a concept.

bearded_gnome 12 years, 1 month ago

if private prisons are OUTLAWED, then only outlaws will have private prisons!

not a good idea, profit motive which is good in most cases, doesn't work here.

kansas needs to develop its own devil's island for the worst most disruptive or violent inmates. hmmmm maybe an island in a river? or perhaps kansas could purchase an unused [unused] island off the coast somewhere.
pref, somewhere where sharks live.

bearded_gnome 12 years, 1 month ago

hey, hannibal, there's an idea... crooks check in, but they don't check out!

hey, what's that smell?

bearded_gnome 12 years, 1 month ago

p.s. Hannibal, you could open a "private" prison in your basement, then the state would pay you for this service!
you'd be paid to do what you love, now isn't that the recipe for success in any job?

Richard Heckler 12 years, 1 month ago

Say no to private prisons:


sunflower_sue 12 years, 1 month ago

Maybe I could take in a non-violent prisoner or two to do nothing but my family's never ending laundry. If they ever get finished with that, I've got 3 billion other things that need done that I certainly don't get paid to do.

Lorenzo_Teris 12 years, 1 month ago

Does private prisons mean more or less sexual assaults amongst the inmates?

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 12 years, 1 month ago

merrill, Why does it cost twice as much to house females? Kotex don't cost that much!

l_eustacy 12 years, 1 month ago

Why not have a citizen/deputy program so we can arrest law-breakers and hold them at home while they are awaiting trial. Kansas's answer to the Arizona minutemen.

We'll be checking IDs and treating anyone from Topeka as an illegal alien.

Kansas: As bad as we wanna be

Kansas: nos pessimus

bearded_gnome 12 years, 1 month ago

right on there Hann!
bet jerk jerky tastes really good?

you know, we could also set up cameras at the private prison and make it a 24-hour-pay-per view tv experiencce to raise money. the view would really rake in the bux if it were at hannibal's prison: criminals check in, but they don't check out!"

kansas: SMOKIN!

xenophonschild 12 years, 1 month ago

Private prisons are warehouses. Someone mentioned earlier that they cut corners to improve their profit margins, with the result there are few, if any, jobs; limited recreation; limited access to libraries, law and otherwise. Kansas evidently spent a boatload of money a few years ago renting prison space from a private prison in Texas. An acquaintance who was sent to a Texas private prison from a Kansas prison said he, and ninety other Kansas inmates, hated the place, as they were routinely locked in their cells for upwards of 23 hours @ day. They spent all their spare time writing petitions to be returned to Kansas prisons!

Purell 12 years, 1 month ago

xenophonschild, So it sounds like private prisons promote literacy

bearded_gnome 12 years, 1 month ago

gosh, xenobuns, you mean they actually HATED being in prison? golly that's really terrible...smirk. actually if the prison experience is worse, maybe fewer will opt for for the prison lifestyle then?

bearded_gnome 12 years, 1 month ago

would've been better question than: who in the he|| is the coach of Missouri...don't know, don't care.

no, lawrence shouldn't apologize to topeak! instead, we should start forcing them to install roundabouts between topeak and lawrence, to help slow down and weed out the thug traffic.

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