Last month, the largest private prison operator in the United States announced that it would be closing one of its facilities in New Mexico. The reason? Too many empty beds. “Unfortunately, a declining detainee population in general has forced us to make difficult decisions in order to maximize utilization of our resources,” a representative of Core Civic said.
Few things illustrate the perverse incentives fueling America’s private prison industry more than a spokesperson lamenting a lack of people behind bars.