The BBC is reporting claims by the right-wing think-tank Reform that, 'Private contractors outperform comparable public sector prisons on both cost and quality, delivering better value for money for the taxpayer.' These claims are based on a report by Reform called 'The case for private prisons' which examines official data on 12 of the UK's 14 privately run prisons.
The BBC online article on this story carries a quote from G4S's Jerry Petherick saying: 'This report acknowledges that the private sector is a source of innovation'. The article notes that the 14 privately run prisons are run by only three corporations, namely G4S, Serco and Sodexo Justice Services. What the BBC fails to mention is that two of those firms, G4S and Serco, are current donors to Reform, and together provided £32,000 to the think-tank last year. This is no secret; its listed on Reform's website. Furthermore, the third firm Sodexo was listed as a donor in 2011 and is currently listed as one of the think-tank's corporate partners. Apparently none of this is of any relevance.