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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 184094 Find in a Library
Title: Search for the Frugal Grail: An Empirical Assessment of the Cost-Effectiveness of Public Versus Private Correctional Facilities
Journal: Criminal Justice Policy Review  Volume:10  Issue:3  Dated:1999  Pages:447-471
Author(s): Travis C. Pratt; Melissa R. Winston
Editor(s): Nancy Koser Wilson
Date Published: 1999
Page Count: 25
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The privatization of corrections has become a growth industry in the United States, but the contention that privatization is more effective than public management of correctional facilities has not been empirically demonstrated due to such methodological limitations as the selection of model facilities, inadequate sample sizes, and lack of sophisticated statistical controls.
Abstract: To rectify some of these empirical problems, a 1992-1993 nationwide census of public and private facilities in the United States for juveniles was examined. Juvenile detention centers, shelters, reception and diagnostic centers, training schools, ranches, camps, farms, and halfway houses were included in the census. Of all public and private facilities in the census, the sample consisted of 635 public and 2,126 private facilities. Results indicated that private correctional facilities for juveniles were no more cost-effective than public correctional facilities. Yet, specific types of private correctional facilities (low-security, non-detention center-type facilities such as halfway houses and shelters) tended to be more cost-effective under private management. The authors conclude that the ability of the private sector to provide juvenile correctional services at a lower cost than the public sector is real but limited. 67 references, 12 notes, and 2 tables
Main Term(s): Privatization in corrections
Index Term(s): Corrections costs; Corrections management; Cost effectiveness analysis; Juvenile correctional facilities; Juvenile Corrections/Detention effectiveness; United States of America
Note: Earlier version of paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology, 1998, Washington, D.C.
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