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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 157058 Find in a Library
Title: Will Prison Privatization Work? Costs, Consequences, and Options
Author(s): R Morse
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 33
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The issue of prison privatization involves economic, legal, ethical, and political issues that must be addressed before prisons are privatized on a widespread basis.
Abstract: Almost every prison and jail in the United States embraces privatization in some form. For example, many services such as educational programs, medical care, and staff training are routinely contracted out to private firms and nonprofit agencies. In addition, numerous juvenile detention facilities, treatment centers, and halfway houses are run by the private sector. Privately managed prisons and jails for adults, however, are rare. Current proposals for prison privatization tend to fall into three broad categories: (1) privately arranged financing and construction of prison facilities which are then bought by the government through a lease purchase contract; (2) contracting out the administration of existing prisons to private companies and nonprofit agencies; and (3) contracting with a private firm to build and operate prisons which will house inmates for a per diem fee. Privately arranged prison financing and construction is the most commonly used privatization strategy. A cost-benefit analysis of prison privatization indicates that substantial cost savings may be difficult to attain. Further, complex legal, ethical, and political issues must be resolved before prisons can be privatized on a large scale. Options for the future privatization of prisons and jails are discussed. 6 references and 37 footnotes
Main Term(s): Privatization in corrections
Index Term(s): Contract corrections services; Corrections costs; Corrections effectiveness; Cost/Benefit Analysis; Criminology; Jail management; Juvenile correctional facilities; Prison construction; Prison contract health care; Prison management; Private sector-government cooperation
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