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NCJ Number: 167698 Find in a Library
Title: Delegating Prison Operations To Public or Private Entities
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:58  Issue:6  Dated:(October 1996)  Pages:112,114,120
Author(s): D Shichor; D K Sechrest
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 3
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article considers delegating prison operations to public or private entities as one approach to dealing with prison overcrowding.
Abstract: The major selling points of delegating state functions to public or private entities are economic, i.e., private corporations can do the work as well or better and do it less expensively and with greater flexibility. However, several questions arise regarding the legal, moral and symbolic issues connected with the administration of punishment, which is considered a state function. These questions involve, among other things: (1) the distinction between allocation of punishment (sentencing), which is a government function determined by the courts, and administration of punishment, implementation of the sentence, which can be done by private contractors under government monitoring; (2) correctional officers and other staff members in private agencies having quasi-judicial authority and discretion that can affect conditions of confinement, withdrawal of privileges and release decisions, thus influencing the quality and quantity of punishment; and (3) the message conveyed to the public when companies profit from the administration of punishment. The article describes California's alternative arrangement for managing correctional facilities in which the State department of corrections contracts with local government for the building and operation of confinement facilities. References
Main Term(s): Corrections
Index Term(s): California; Correctional reform; Corrections management; Local government; Prison construction; Prison location; Prison overcrowding; Private sector-government cooperation; Privatization in corrections
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