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NCJ Number: 168260 Find in a Library
Title: Privatization: Myth vs. Reality
Journal: Sheriff  Volume:48  Issue:4  Dated:(July-August 1996)  Pages:10,44-45
Author(s): D L Myers
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 3
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article challenges 10 myths commonly held about the impact of privatization in the management of jails.
Abstract: One myth is that public correctional facility employees lose their jobs when private corporations take over management. In fact, in every case it is in the best interest of the private company and the contracting agency to implement a smooth management transition; part of the transition involves retention of quality employees. A second myth is that staff salaries will decline, and there will not be a retirement or basic benefits plan. Actually, employee compensation and benefits must be competitive with public-sector employment and the marketplace at large. A third myth is that the professional integrity of a correctional facility will be compromised under private-sector management. In reality, competitive forces require that a private company maintain a standard of excellence. Another myth is that private corrections companies do not save enough money to make a difference to taxpayers; however, private-sector services continuously show that cost-effectiveness, operational quality, reduced liability for contracting officials, and overall community benefits can come in one package. A fifth myth is that a private company will only make the sheriff's office's job more difficult. On the contrary, private companies receive excellent marks from sheriffs' offices for saving time and performing all contracted functions effectively. The remaining five myths challenged in this article pertain to the management of hardened criminals, the inexperience of private companies, the absence of checks and balances, liability, and a private company's lack of familiarity with the local community.
Main Term(s): Privatization in corrections
Index Term(s): Correctional personnel; Corrections management; Corrections policies
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