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NCJ Number: 99526 Find in a Library
Title: Punish and Profit - The Emergence of Private Enterprise Prisons
Journal: Justice Quarterly  Volume:2  Issue:3  Dated:(September 1985)  Pages:303-318
Author(s): C H Logan; S P Rausch
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 16
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Commercial prisons, privately owned and operated under government contract, may offer at least a partial solution to overcrowding and taxpayer reluctance to bear the costs of new construction and added operational expenses.
Abstract: Crime rates and current conceptions of justice combine to create a demand for prison space that simply cannot be matched with the present supply. The overcrowding problem and the vast sums of money presumably required for its solution have recently and suddenly caught the attention of the private sector. By 1984, private contractors were running institutions for juveniles in Pennsylvania and Florida, detention centers for illegal aliens, and a medium-security prison in Tennessee. Empirical data on the costs of commercial prisons is insufficient, but a national survey of correctional agencies revealed that three-quarters of the respondents reported cost savings from private contracting. The survey also found that while correctional administrators wanted to maintain and expand their relations with private contractors, only 22 percent indicated they would consider contracting the management of an entire facility. Proponents of contracting claim that public service institutions tend to be both inefficient and ineffective because of the way they are financed and because of their retirement programs. Finally, commercial prisons with efficient management, multiple vendors, and renewable adjustable contracts offer an increased prospect of achieving some flexibility to respond to the shifting demands of justice. Legislation authorizing private penal contracts may be necessary or advisable in some States with laws outlawing private ownership of prisons. < A table, 12 footnotes, and approximately 30 references are included.
Index Term(s): Contract corrections services; Corrections management; Privatization
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