In an Open Letter to the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), UC Berkeley researcher Christopher Petrella asks the CCA to stop citing the 2013 Temple Study; a study which is not only misleading and inaccurate, but was also commissioned and funded by the CCA and two other for-profit private prison companies.
As Petralla writes in a blog post about the letter:
“According to my analysis, the study’s methodology is misleading and its conclusions are inaccurate. Here’s just one example. In California, CCA has negotiated a deal to house only 8,600 of the youngest, healthiest, and least expensive California prisoners in their out-of-state facilities. Publicly-run facilities, on the other hand, are responsible for housing individuals who are the most expensive to incarcerate and to treat.
The Temple Study looked at the operating costs of CCA versus publicly run facilities, and concluded that CCA is more efficient – without acknowledging or taking into account at all the fact that CCA and publicly run facilities each house dramatically different populations with significant differences in their cost of care. The striking differences in prisoner health, age, and cost by facility are indisputable and challenge the very legitimacy of the study that the for-profit prison industry funded and continues to publicize. This is just one of the many reasons why the Temple University study is worth our scrutiny.”