Privatization Within The Criminal Justice System Essay

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The United States has an incarceration problem that personifies issues throughout the entire criminal justice system. "The United States, with just 5 percent of the world 's population, currently holds 25 percent of the world 's prisoners" (Khalek). This issue runs deeper than just incarceration; it permeates every level of the criminal justice system, from incarceration to probation. Many states have turned to private institutions in an attempt shed operating costs, while also increasing effectiveness throughout the criminal justice system. These acts can include anything from providing treatment programs to full blown management of the entire prison system. Overcrowding at prisons and the rising costs associated with them has led many states to turn to some form of privatization within the criminal justice system. However, privatizing the entire correction system would not be beneficial for the state, from both an ethical and a public policy standpoint.

Private prisons, especially for-profit prisons, pose a serious ethical dilemma. While private prisons may offer some budget relief, it comes at a serious ethical cost. Prison and criminal justice systems should not make a profit based on incarceration. Since the 1980’s, harsher sentences have led the prison system to focus less on rehabilitation and more on incarceration. Consequentially, focusing on punishing criminals rather than rehabilitating them leads to a higher rate of imprisonment, as prisoners continue to
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