With more than one million people behind bars, the United States imprisons a larger share of its population than any other industrialized nation. This has precipitated a serious overcrowding problem with federal and state prisons currently operating well beyond capacity. Conventional efforts appear unable to cope with the increasing shortage of beds or with inadequate rehabilitation services. A bold solution is required; increasingly it is being seen to reside in the private sector. This timely volume explores the issues of private versus public financing, construction, and management of medium-and high-security prisons.Private prisons are not a new concept in the United States. They have existed in several forms since the eighteenth century. The opening chapters evaluate historical cases of prisons for profit, examining the concerns of labor, abuses of inmates, and the source and resolution of disputes between private and public sectors. These chapters argue that the experience gained through privatization does not justify current opposition from civil libertarians or labor unions.Chapters dealing with the modern contracting out of complete management and limited services document the growing trend toward privatization and instances of public/private partnership in prison industries.The assembled evidence indicates clearly that privately run prisons have shown significant cost savings and good quality of provision for prisoners while still being profitable. However, the authors caution that these promising results must be reinforced by public safeguards in the contracting stage and monitoring to assure good service and security. With the American prison system in disarray, the public interest demands that government look beyond the public or private identity of those who wish to provide correctional services and focus instead on who can provide the best services at a given cost. It is essential to state that correctional services should attain several objectives and not merely cost minimization. The analysis and recommendations presented here will aid in the task. Privatizing Correctional Institutions will be of interest to law-enforcement officials, public policy analysts, penologists, and criminologists.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. Partial Privatization of Prison Operations: Let’s Give It a Chance 3. Private Correction: The Delicate Balance 4. The Future of Correctional Privatization: Lessons from the Past 5. The Privatization of Secure Adult Prisons: Issues and Evidence 6. Bars on the Iron Triangle: Public Policy Issues in the Privatization of Corrections 7. Federal Government Involvement in Private Sector Partnerships with Prison Industries, 8. PRIDE of Florida: A Working Model for Inmates 9. The Public-Private Partnership: A Challenge and an Opportunity for Corrections 10. Minimizing Liability with Private Management of Correctional Facilities 11. Privatization of Corrections: A Threat to Prisoners’ Rights 12. Proving Privatization Works, 13. For Profit Jails: A Risky Business 14. Low Cost, High Quality, Good Fit: Why Not Privatization? 15. Comparison of Privately and Publically Operated Corrections Facilities in Kentucky and Massachusetts, 16. The Development, Present Status, and Future Potential of Correctional Privatization in America
Gary W. Bowman