Privatization of American Prisons Essay

Privatization of American Prisons Essay

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In America today, there is a trend in corrections of taking the duty of running prisons out of the hands of state and federal authorities and contracting it out to private organizations. Along with the drift to privatization is a plethora of research pertaining to the subject taking many different approaches to analyzing the effectiveness. The majority of research focuses on one of three areas. The first questioning whether or not it is cost effective to make the switch. The second being the ethical problems that can and have risen from the privatization of prisons. The third being a wide painting of the change and the implications it has on society as a whole.
When the changes came about, there were an excessive amount of variables that made the privatization of prisons a problematic change and a ill conceived solution to a larger issue. Now that privatization has been in practice for some time, many issues are coming out into the public's eye. For one, there is little evidence to support the notion that it is more cost effective. Another is that the ethical issues are being taken to the extreme. The privatization of prisons is in no manner a solution to any problems that the criminal justice system is facing, and government should not delegate coercive authority to private entities.
History of Prison Privatization:
In the United States of America, prison privatization began to increase in popularity around the late 19th century. There are many reasons that the idea became increasingly entertained. These reasons include the egregious overcrowding of government run facilities, citizens' forceful promotion of policies to further increase the American prison population, and increasing cost to maintain the increas...

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...ization: An Overview,” Prison Journal LXV
Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2004,” April 2005.
Dennis C., 1999 “Projected FY 2000 Cost of DOC Operated Medium Security Beds Compared to Private Prison Contracts,” 4th Annual Privatizing Correctional Facilities Conference..
Greenblatt, A. (2003). "What Makes Alec Smart?". Governing.
Kish, R. J., & Lipton, A. F. (2013). Do Private Prisons Really offer Savings Compared with their Public Counterparts?. Economic Affairs, 33(1), 93-107
Pratt T. and Maahs J., 1999, “Are Private Prisons More Cost-Effective than Public Prisons? A Meta- Analysis of Evaluation Research Studies,” Crime & Delinquency.
The Sentencing Project. (Brief Article). (2001). Peace and Freedom.
Powell pleads guilty. (n.d.). 2009 - News. Retrieved , from http://thetimes- leads- guilty-1.99257

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