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NCJ Number: 134390 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Praying for Prisons
Journal: State Legislatures  Volume:17  Issue:3  Dated:(March 1991)  Pages:28-30
Author(s): R Welch
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 3
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Finding a site for a prison used to be a problem, but now the issue is sometimes how to choose among the many towns that want one.
Abstract: One Illinois town put together a rap song and bought television time to convince legislators to locate a prison there. In Texas, 50 towns requested prisons and submitted their proposals to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The proposals included incentives that ranged from country club memberships for wardens to longhorn cattle for the prison grounds. According to an official of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, prisons have become an economic development tool, especially in rural areas. For example, it is estimated that a 400-bed minimum security prison in the State of Washington generates a net cash flow of $2.2 million a month. Several studies point out that economic benefits come not only from payroll but also from construction, purchases from local vendors, and increased revenues from sales and property taxes. The fundamental irony remains, however, that most prisons are located in rural areas even though most experts argue they should be in urban areas. Cities produce the prisoners and offer the most services, the largest labor pool, the lowest transportation costs, and the best chance for inmate families to visit and maintain strong ties. While many small towns want prisons, some local residents have expressed concern that families of prisoners will move to the area, creating demands on community social and education services. Quality-of-life effects of prisons on small towns are examined.
Main Term(s): Economic impact of prisons; Prison location
Index Term(s): Illinois; Prison construction; Public Opinion of Corrections; Texas; Washington
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