By Susan Snyder (The Inquirer) – Temple University is investigating an ethics complaint that two of its professors did not properly disclose funding from the private prison industry for their research on the cost of incarceration.
Simon Hakim and Erwin Blackstone, economists on Temple’s faculty since the mid-1970s, argued that they had been doing similar research for decades and always disclosed their funding when their work was completed. They said sometimes their research favors the funder and sometimes it does not.
In this case, it did. The professors concluded that private prisons save money while performing as well as or better than government-operated prisons and generate much-needed competition. In the private model, Hakim and Blackstone found long-term savings in taxpayer costs of 12 percent to 58 percent.
They touted the private model in op-eds they published in newspapers around the country, most with no mention of their funding source.