Privatization of Prisons
Overcrowding,rapidly increasing operation outlays, and resistance by taxpayers tocover for the cost of new prisons are some of the driving factorswhich have contributed to privatization of prisons. Many statesbelieve that the private prison sector can help to reduce theproblems of overcrowding and cost. Private prisons prevail whenprisoners are incarcerated by a third entity as contracted by thefederal or state government. Privatizations of prison occur in mostparts of the world. Private sectors in prison are used to manageminimum or non-secure communities by most state correction agencies(Prenzler& Sarre, 2012). This paper discusses the cons and pros of privatized prisons, andsuggests whether there is need for such prisons or otherwise.
Consof Private Prisons
Oneof the advantages of privatized prison is that it reduces thegovernment cost. That is because through privatization, the federalgovernments spend less money paying private sectors to care forprisoners, thus helping in budget planning. Also when compared topublic prisons, private prisons are considered to be safe they havebetter living condition and have been successful in reducing therates of repeat offenses (Reiman& Leighton, 2015).
Consof Private Prisons
Humanrights, criminologists, economists, religious leaders, andcorrectional officers are against private prisons they considerprivatization to be corrupted, corrosive incentives characterized byracial discrimination practices. They also argue that private prisonsdo not save money but instead, maximize profits like any otherfor-profit business. This results in the reduction of all essentialservices including clothing, food, medical care, security, and staffcost which may endanger the staff, prisoners, and public at large(Reiman& Leighton, 2015).
Anotherdisadvantage of privatization is that most prisoners who areprivatized are the rich group the poor are left out. The littlemoney that the poor earns is taxed and funneled into the wealthyman’s hands for their own personal gain. Besides, prisoners fromprivate prisons are also known to be violent due to lower staffing.Furthermore, the training the prisoners undertake while in prisonsgives them enough experience, enabling some of them to escape easily.Finally, guards in privatized prisons are employed in small numbers,and they are known to supply weapons to the inmates, encouragingviolence. Once crisis breaks and injuries are reported, the prisonersare taken back to public prison to sustain medical cost theimplication is that private prisons rarely function independently(Reiman& Leighton, 2015).
Basedon the above assessment of pros and cons of private prisons, it isevident that the system has more disadvantages than advantages.Therefore, private prisons are not necessary in the United Statesbecause the prisons are known to create additional number of illegal,immoral, and policy problems. Also, the number of prisoners whoescape from private prisons is high compared to public prisons due tothe fact that few guards are employed to watch over the huge inmatepopulation. Most of the private organizations are also greedy formoney, whereby some judge make imprisonment decisions in exchange formoney without regarding the consequences, with public officials alsoknown to increase their contracts with private prisons to earn morefortune (Prenzler& Sarre, 2012).
Dueto the growing population in prisons, private prisons are likely toincrease in the future since they offer cheap ways of solvingcrowding problems. However, these prisons have created moral andsocial problems as seen in the many cons associated with their use.Therefore, the government agencies should ensure the regulations ofcorrectional goals are met to prevent overspendings in the privateprisons.
Prenzler,T., & Sarre, R. (2012). Public-private crime preventionpartnerships. In Policingand Security in Practice (pp.149-167). UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
Reiman,J., & Leighton, P. (2015). Therich get richer and the poor get prison: Ideology, class, andcriminal justice.Abingdon, NJ: Routledge.
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