Private Prisons

2652 Words Apr 30th, 2012 11 Pages
The concept of the prison has existed for more than two thousand years. It probably goes back as far in time as practice of cannibalism, where victims had to wait for their turn in contributing to the chief course in the menu of their captors. Examples of prisons can even be found in the Old Testament when Joseph was incarcerated in Egypt. It was not until the 19th century that a clear shift occurred from corporal punishment to imprisonment. As societies prospered and the industrial revolution began, the formal prison system, as we know it today, developed. Throughout most of the world, the correctional system is administered by the state, and it is considered a key function that the government must fulfill: protect its citizens by …show more content…
Segal and Moore (2002) identified about 23 U.S. cost comparison studies and fewer quality studies. Many of those studies were of questionable value because they did not comply with specific characteristics of meta-analysis (did not have explicit comparison of private and public facilities, the study was based on citations of other studies, few recognizable databases, among others). The most recent review, a meta-analysis by Lundahl et. al. (2009) only identified 12 studies of cost and quality meeting their criteria for sound methodology”.
According to Alex Tabarrok, privately managed facilities can have cost savings of 15-25% on prison edification and 15% on administrative expenses. Likewise, private prisons generate competition and exert pressure towards public prisons. They encourage public prisons to also innovate and lower costs. Other studies (Lundahl et al. 2009, page 392) argue, “prison privatization provides neither a clear advantage nor disadvantage compared with publicly managed prisons.”
The economic nature of private corporations is to be profit-seeking agents whose sole focus is to maximize shareholder value. This is a fair reason and a reason that will always exist. Detractors of privatization and free market systems, argue that…