The Advantages of the Privatization of Prisons

The cost and political headache of the correctional system in the United States have conduced government leaders to entertain the idea of privatizing the correctional system. The benefits that are cited for this type of move are as follows: financial savings for state and local governments, ability to provide more police officers in communities, and curb the model of imprisonment to rehabilitation by taking funds saved and investing them in rehabilitation programs. Yet many oppose the idea that oversight of compounds where dangerous individuals are detained will be in the hand of private companies with no true accountability system to make sure the correctional system is run safely and humanely.

Should the government be able to give up its responsibility for the custody of an individual and engage in contracts with private organizations to provide privatization of prisons and jails? Why? Assume this includes only convicted offenders and defendants awaiting trial would still be kept under the authority of the state.


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