The involvement of the private sector in the penal system, prima facie, could be seen as a rapid and low cost, high benefit solution to the most serious penal system problems such as lack of prisons spaces, poor condition within the prisons, and the state responsibilities of running prisons services adequately, by the figure of prison privatization. (Cavadino, M. and Dignan, J. 2007)
The figure of contracting out has been well described by Cavadino and Dignan in their analysis of the prison privatization. This model involves the private sector in the penal system, by giving to it certain responsibilities, such as, auxiliary services, design and construction of prisons, basic custodial functions, or a set of above, which is named “DCMF” prisons, including design, construction, management and financing responsibilities from the private sector, and also the theoretical possibility of contracting out the responsibilities of commissioning, monitoring, and enforcement of prison service contracts.
Prison privatization in England and Wales
The prison privatization in England is not new, In England and Wales private jail keepers were frequently accountable for the administration of the prison from the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century.
The private sector was involving in the penal system at that time, by fee system rather an official payment. This manner of private intervention was abolished in 1915 (McConvile, 1981).
The early experience with the contracting out system mentioned before started in United Kingdom, after 1788, with the use of penal transportation of convicts through ships operated by the private sector, under an agreement with the British government. (Ammon, 1992. Feeley, 2002, Hughes, 1987) ...
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El espectador – internet versión (2011) Critica Situacion Carcelaria [Available at] http://www.elespectador.com/opinion/editorial/articulo-248851-critica-situacion-carcelaria [Accessed] Febrero 2012]
El tiempo – internet versión (2008) Gobierno propone privatizar la vigilancia carcelaria; sindicato del INPEC tiene sus reservas. [Available at] http://www.eltiempo.com/archivo/documento/CMS-4391030 [Accessed] February 2012.
Prison Reform Trust (2011) Privatisation will not rehabilitate our prisons [Available at] http://www.prisonreformtrust.org.uk/PressPolicy/News/vw/1/ItemID/126 [Access] February 2012
Sparks, R. (1994) Can Prisons be Legitimate?. Penal Politics, Privatization, and the Timelines of an old idea. British Journal of Criminology. Vol. 34. London: Sage
Logan, C. (1990) Private Prisons: Cons and Pros. Oxford: Oxford University Press
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