skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 120307 Find in a Library
Title: Proprietary Prisons (From American Prison: Issues in Research and Policy, P 45-62, 1989, Lynne Goodstein and Doris Layton MacKenzie, eds. -- See NCJ-120304)
Author(s): C H Logan
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: Plenum Press
New York, NY 10013
Sale Source: Plenum Press
233 Spring Street
New York, NY 10013
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After tracing early examples of prison privatization, this chapter identifies pertinent issues requiring study and debate and examines the two primary issues in the debate: propriety and cost.
Abstract: "Proprietary prisons" are secure confinement facilities managed by privately owned companies under contract to government. As a matter of propriety, the opponents of such prisons have argued that it is improper for any entity but the government to operate a prison. This argument can be countered, however, since the authority of the State to imprison is originally derived from the consent of the governed and may, therefore, with similar consent be delegated further. Moreover, that authority is not absolute but is subject to law and the requirements of due process, whether it is exercised by salaried State employees or by contracted agents. Regarding cost, there is not yet sufficient evidence to support generalizations about the comparative costs of proprietary versus government prisons. The audit of a proprietary prison in Hamilton County, Tenn., however, found a significant dollar difference favoring private management for each of 3 years. Private prisons will not, and should not, reduce the responsibility of government for imprisonment. It is not likely that in the foreseeable future such prisons will replace government in the total volume of prisoners held and number of facilities managed. 10 references.
Main Term(s): Privatization in corrections
Index Term(s): Corrections policies; Prison management; Tennessee
Note: From Volume 4 in the Law, Society, and Policy series.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.