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NCJ Number: 193231 Find in a Library
Title: Quality of Prison Operations in the US Federal Sector: A Comparison with a Private Prison
Journal: Punishment & Society  Volume:4  Issue:1  Dated:January 2002  Pages:27-53
Author(s): Scott D. Camp; Gerald G. Gaes; William G. Saylor
Date Published: 2002
Page Count: 27
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This article examines and compares the quality of operations at private and public prisons in the United States.
Abstract: The data are from surveys administered to staff at 96 Federal prisons and two private prisons. The Prison Social Climate Survey (PSCS) is divided into sections based on the topic areas. There are sections on the socio-demographics of the respondent and their work history, the work environment, personal safety and security, personal well being, and the quality of life. Three management effectiveness measures were identified: commitment to the institution, institutional operations, and overall organizational commitment. The multilevel results suggested that most of the items taken from the survey data were not appropriate for distinguishing quality of operations, at lease not for the measures of management effectiveness and safety. The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) institutions seemed to come out ahead on the measures of organizational commitment and fire safety in the housing units, but the private prisons clearly came out ahead in terms of the average level of commitment to the institution. There may be some indication that while workers remain committed to the BOP, there is less commitment to the low-security prisons most directly affected by the competition with the private sector. The findings of high levels of institutional commitment are important because prior research has demonstrated that private-prison workers have much higher rates of turnover than BOP workers. The higher level of commitment may be related to the wage structure. 3 tables, 8 figures, 4 notes, 29 references
Main Term(s): Federal prisoners; Privatization in corrections
Index Term(s): Contract corrections services; Correctional reform; Corrections management; Prison climate; Prison management; Private sector civic involvement
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