Private Prisons

Length: 7 Pages 1644 Words

In recent decades, there has been a trend developing in America towards the privatization of America’s prisons. Independent companies have contracted, built and staffed prisons in several different states instead of having the government in control of these facilities. There is still much uncertainty, however, if private prisons will be able to succeed. Some companies have failed while others cling to mediocre revenues. Some people believe that these measures will save taxpayers money while other are afraid that private prisons have no real interest in rehabilitating prisoners. Why have prisons been moving into private hands in this modern era? The most obvious answer would come from simple economics. If a business feels that there a profit to be made, even in an area that is usually thought of as a part of the public sector, it will try to get its foot in the door and make that profit. There is also a feeling among many people that public-run institutions are not cost efficient. People theorize that if a private company were to control certain institutions that they can remove the bureaucratic red tape and run a more cost-effective and efficient business. This theory is just one that supporters of the privatization of the pris Continue...

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This, in turn, would force the government to pay these increases in rates or else the prison would fail. Simply put, this is a question of who is in control. As far as donation of funds to government officials in order to get their approval, there should not be too much worry about lawmakers passing bills increasing sentence length just to give these prisons additional labor. The checks and balances with the judicial branch should prevent any outrageous sentencing laws and these companies have a right, as does any company, to donate campaign funds to particular politicians. In principle, this would allow governments to either reduce taxes or funnel tax money into other programs. Like big tobacco and the NRA, with sufficient size, private prison owners could become major contributors to members of the government and, as is usually the case, big donations usually mean legislation that favors a certain party. If, however, private prisons begin to fail as a whole across the United States, then the experiment of private prisons should be ended. Conversely, there is the issue of the use of force in quelling riots and what happens if a private prison becomes unable to control its inmates. Proponents of the system could point to the fact that the government also bestows the power of arrest to private police officers so there is no real difference between that power and the power that private prisons are given in order to incarcerate those who break the law. If companies are willing to build these prisons and operate them, there must be assurance that these companies will not default on their promises and threaten to close the facility unless they are able to receive more public funds. If a company did this, but failed to build and run their prison at the stated cost, then they would be forced to raise their rates. For these prisons there would be less desire to release inmates early, which would make "good time given to inmates something that is less desired.


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an analysis of the merits of prison privatization, question as do many public sector correctional administrators, whether or not private prisons actually save (2507 10 )

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