Terminate the Private Prison Contract

Delaware County is the only county in PA that has out-sourced the management of its prison to a private company. The Superintendent of the prison, a job that pays hundreds of thousands of dollars, is the brother of the Chairman of the Republican Party of Delaware County. Private companies are not incented to spend money on programs that reduce recidivism like education, mental health and addiction treatment services. Private companies are motivated by profits and therefore, will naturally cut expenses wherever possible. This has resulted in many inmate suicides at the prison, as well as incidents in which prisoners who were released relapsed and suffered drug overdoses. Reducing recidivism will protect the public, save taxpayers money and lives. County Council must terminate the private prison contract and implement a prison board that reports directly to County Council and provides complete transparency to prison finances and the level of mental health and addiction treatment services inmates receive. The budget for the privately-run prison contract is about $50 million dollars, roughly 14% of the budget. The public should know where every penny is going and whether or not it is being spent wisely.