Is Prison Privatization Really a Long Term Fix?

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Prison Privatization is a term used for which local, state and federal correction facilities hire companies from the private sector to run prisons and provide prison-related services. Some private companies are contracted only to provide things such as medical care, counseling, food services, and maintenance within publicly owned jails and prisons. Today, more and more private companies are being contracted to not only design and build, but also to operate new jails and prisons on both the state and federal level. Why this trend towards privatization? The explosion of the prison population from tougher sentencing laws, baby boom, ‘War on Drugs’, “three strikes” sentencing, the rising costs of construction and maintenance for the correction facilities, along with the cost of caring and incarcerating prisoners (Allen, Simonsen, Latessa, & Ponder, 2007) has led to the increased demand for and the utilization privatization. The private prison industry is one of the fastest growing industries in America; yet, despite this growth and more and more states moving towards in the future, many public and legal concerns remain. (Prison Politics; it takes money to run a prison - or pass a prison bill., 2002) Is the privatization of America’s prison system really a long-term fix or is it just a fad, a short-term remedy that only postpones issues to deal with in the future?

Prison Privatization is not a new idea or concept in America. (Allen, et al., 2007) This concept has been around since the early days of the colonization of our country. Some examples of early privatization were the use of prison labor for public works, leasing out of prisoners for agriculture and manufacturing purposes. Although this practice did save the states money, as ...

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