Prison Privatization Essay

1927 Words Oct 5th, 2008 8 Pages
Prison Privatization

Privatizing prisons may be one way for the prison population to get back under control. Prisons are overcrowded and need extra money to house inmates or to build a new prison. The issue of a serious need for space needs to be addressed. “As a national average, it costs roughly $20,000 per year to keep an inmate in prison. There are approximately 650,000 inmates in state and local prisons, double the number five years ago. This costs taxpayers an estimated $18 billion each year. More than two thirds of the states are facing serious overcrowding problems, and many are operating at least 50 percent over capacity. (Joel, 1988)” Private prisons may be for profit, but if they can solve the issue of cost then it may be a
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Consequently, the conditions in many private prisons are terrible, and oversight is limited. (Edwards, 2005)” If corners were cut then the private prison would be cutting its own throat. Private prisons were seen as unfit to house inmates that were sent to prison because the prisoners could escape easier in a facility that was not run by the government.

Present
Currently prisons are operating at above capacity because more people are coming in than are getting out. This is a trend that is going to continue to rise. The alternatives are to let people go, lower sentences or to outsource the prisoners. Letting people go on a lesser charge is an option that is being used and outsourcing to private prisons is also in use. Private prisons are better alternative because they can house the inmates of the prisons choice and in most cases do it at a lower cost. Private prisons are also held to the same or higher standards than federal prisons. “Private prisons comply with the standards of the Commission on Accreditation for Corrections and have a much higher accreditation rate than government prisons. (Thomas, 2001)” This ensures that the private facilities are complying with their contract and operating how they are supposed to be. There has only been one private prison shut down since they started popping up. This facility was…