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OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol

South Bay Correctional Facility Provides Savings and Success; Room for Improvement

Report 99-39, March 2000




Report Summary

  • The Wackenhut Corrections Corporation built the private South Bay Correctional Facility at costs that were 24% below construction costs for the most comparable public prison, Okeechobee. The Department of Corrections spent $10 million more on site preparation to prepare a larger public prison site.
  • South Bay and Okeechobee were operated using different percentages of capacity, requiring substantial adjustments to provide a fair comparison of operating costs. However, after OPPAGA adjusted for this and other differences between the two prisons, South Bay's operating costs were 3.5% lower during the 1997-98 fiscal year and 10.6% lower during 1998-99.
  • The Correctional Privatization Commission could increase savings by improving its cost control efforts. For example, private prison vendors should not be reimbursed for corporate income tax and sales tax expenses without documentation.
  • With the notable exception of the escape of two inmates in August 1999, the performance of the South Bay Correctional Facility has compared favorably.


Related Reports
  1. Progress Report: Corrections Program Still Challenged by Inmate Idleness, Prison Planning, and Fleet Maintenance
    Report 04-60 August 2004
  2. Progress Report: Correctional Privatization Commission Improved Management of South Bay Contract; More Savings Possible
    Report 02-27 May 2002
  3. Review of the Department of Corrections
    Report 00-23 December 2000
  4. Progress Report: Bay and Moore Haven Private Prison Contracts Renewed; Bay Costs Increase
    Report 99-46 April 2000
Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by email OPPAGA@oppaga.fl.gov, telephone (850) 488-0021, or mail 111 W. Madison St., Room 312 Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475.
criminal justice, juvenile justice, crime, corrections, privatization, prison, corrections, inmate, recidivism, incarceration