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PLN managing editor criticizes industry funding of Temple study on private prisons in letter to editor

Oklahoman, Jan. 1, 2013. http://www.oklahoman.com/article/3835630
PLN managing editor criticizes industry funding of Temple study on private prisons in letter to editor - Oklahoman 2013

The Oklahoman
May 29, 2013

Research favors payer

In “Private prisons make fiscal sense for states” (Point of View, May 17), Temple University professors Simon Hakim and Erwin Blackstone discussed their recent research that found cost savings and equal or better performance by for-profit prison companies. Based upon their research findings, they suggested that the state consider additional prison privatization. Hakim and Blackstone neglected to mention that their research lauding the benefits of prison privatization was funded by “members of the private prison industry,” according to an April 29 news release issued by Temple University.

Likewise, their research study itself, which hasn’t been published or peer-reviewed, fails to reveal that it was funded by private prison firms. Hakim and Blackstone further neglected to mention that they may have a predisposition to favor the private sector, as they have both previously advocated for the privatization of government services, including privatized police functions.

The public has a right to know when academic research is funded by for-profit companies that directly benefit from the results of that research. It’s remarkable how studies that are funded by private prison firms frequently find cost savings or other benefits through prison privatization, while research that doesn’t get industry funding typically reports no such benefits.

Alex Friedmann, Nashville, Tenn.


 


 

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