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NCJ Number: 136050 Find in a Library
Title: Historical-sociological Analysis of California's Private Prison Experience in the 1850's: Some Modern Implications (From Criminal Justice History: An International Annual, Volume 11, P 89-103, 1990, Louis A Knafla, ed. -- See NCJ-136046)
Author(s): W M McAfee; D Shichor
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: Meckler Publishing
Westport, CT 06880
Sale Source: Meckler Publishing
11 Ferry Lane West
Westport, CT 06880
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The experience of the privately-operated prisons in California during the 1850's suggest the need for caution in conducting experiments in the privatization of maximum-security prisons.
Abstract: Although California in the 1850's differed in many ways from the modern United States, both had an ethnically heterogeneous population, intense public concern about high crime rates, strong public demand for rigorous law enforcement and severe sentences, an inclination to excuse vigilante justice, a rapidly increasing prison population, and a concern with the rising costs of corrections. In California, two entrepreneurs who were heavily involved in State politics proposed that they manage a State prison in exchange for inmate labor. However, cost cutting, cruel treatment of inmates, neglect of public security, political manipulations, the employment of unqualified personnel, and other problems emerged. This experiment encountered problems in all four areas of John Mullen's analytical framework: political, administrative, legal, and financial. These issues, together with current concerns such as prisoners' rights and "skimming" by contractors who agree to manage only the easiest institutions, should all be considered in current debates regarding privatization in corrections. 46 reference notes
Main Term(s): Privatization in corrections
Index Term(s): California; Contract corrections services; Political influences; Private sector-government cooperation
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