Building prisons in rural areas is not a new phenomenon, though it has been increasing significantly in recent decades. During a massive boom to prison building in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, many of those new prisons were built in rural areas. While rural areas had once generally been staunchly against prisons being built in their areas, their general economic collapse following the exit of manufacturing and other industries left them vulnerable. This, combined with the promises made to them about the economic benefits to be gained from welcoming prisons into their areas, made rural regions much more receptive to rural prison siting. Once these prisons had been built, however, many noticed that the promises made were not realized. Promises of mass employment were false because of the number of people transferring from other institutions, promises of a larger tax base were false because many of the newcomers lived outside of the area and commuted in, and so on. This paper analyzes the promises made to rural areas and the realities that followed, as well as the impacts that rural prisons have on inmates, before discussing private prisons as an extension of the problem. This paper will then discuss solutions to the problems facing rural prisons, communities, and inmates and possible ways to make the promises the reality.
Vanden Bosch, Matthew D.
"Rural Prison Siting: Problems and Promises,"
The Mid-Southern Journal of Criminal Justice: Vol. 19, Article 5.
Available at: https://mds.marshall.edu/msjcj/vol19/iss1/5