Public Management of Delaware County Prison Could be Cheaper Than Private, Study Finds

David Bjorkgren
Image via Emma Lee, WHYY.

A financial feasibility study shows there is potential to reduce costs at Delaware County’s prison if its returned to public hands, write Kenny Cooper for

The study was presented Thursday to the county’s oversight board for the George W. Hill Correctional Facility. Delaware County Council is exploring the de-privatization of the prison.

 “We believe the evidence clearly demonstrates de-privatization is feasible, and the initiative will not place the county at significant financial risk and, in fact, has the potential to reduce current costs,” Karl Becker, senior vice president of CGL Cos., told the board.

CGL is the transition team behind the de-privatization effort.

George W. Hill has been under the management of the GEO Group, a for-profit company under a $259 million contract signed in 2018. It is the only privately managed county prison in Pennsylvania.

Several key issues would need to be addressed: a new collective bargaining agreement with the prison staff, possible litigation costs and investment in prison health, food and human resources.

It cost the county $48.6 million for the prison in 2020, with $46.7 million going to GEO Group.

Read more at about exploring efforts to de-privatize the prison.