Private Prisons

1166 Words Sep 29th, 2012 5 Pages

An Assessment of
Prison Privatization
Sharon Baumann-Heller
ORG 8575
Michael Mills
August 12, 2012

Over-crowding in our federal, state, and local prisons, along with a depressed economy, has resulted in a trend toward privatization of these facilities. This paper examines the core issues surrounding private prisons in the areas of cost-effectiveness, recidivism, and the special needs of specific groups of inmates, including the elderly and mentally challenged. It explores problems related to the prison industry in general and whether privatization is the solution to these problems.
…show more content…
The impact of budget cuts and a depressed economy continues to pose health care problems for jails and prisons as a whole. The high rate of disease and illness experienced in the prison population poses a threat not only to the prisoners, but to the staff and general public as well (Summary, 2007). Although society thinks of prisons and jails as self-contained, what is occurring inside finds its way to the outside. For instance, untreated staph infections, hepatitis C, and HIV can directly impact the family and friends of inmates, as well as neighborhoods and communities (Summary, 2007). Reid (2008) notes that the mentally challenged present a serious challenge to our prison systems. He reports that over 50 percent of all inmates have mental health problems, with a high percentage of both jail and prison inmates meeting the criteria for psychotic disorders. Society does not know how to
PRISON PRIVATIZATION 5 appropriately respond to the maladaptive behaviors exhibited by the mentally challenged, so many of them are incarcerated rather than diverted to mental facilities. Studies have shown that it would cost less money to send this class of prisoner to a mental health facility than to pay for their incarceration and related extra costs. Some contend that the conditions under which mentally challenged prisoners are subject in prisons actually exacerbate mental illness. This includes such things as isolation and inadequate ventilation
Open Document