Privatizing prisons was once an attractive option for local governments: it held out the promise of reducing government overhead and allowed the government to get out of the chancy business of incarcerating dangerous criminals. But just five months after Alabama signed its first contract with a privately owned prison, the government is having second thoughts: several unfortunate incidents of inmate violence and escapes have given privatization a bad name. The state's concern is that LCS Corrections Services Inc., the current administrator of the Perry County Detention Center, has not invested enough money in its new property and has allowed standards to drop. Several states that had been keeping their prisoners in Alabama cells have chosen to bring their convicts home.
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