The Concept Of Prison Privatization

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The concept of prison privatization is not new; it has its genesis as early as the 18th century. However it has been received with mixed reviews over the effectiveness, the legality and whether or not it has the civil rights of prisoners as a priority. More importantly is that prison privatization profits are in direct conflict with a prosperous economy. According to Wood, (2003) the prison industrial complex is the change in the criminal justice system due to the “rapid growth” and the presence of private companies and their importance. Several factors have been identified as the cause of the rise of this complex. The violence in our society and the people or entities that would benefit from prison expansion are responsible. The prison complex consists of three concepts, expansion, privatization, and regression. The growth took place rapidly from 1925-1939, and then conversely a rapid decline during World War II. Again another flux occurred from the end of the war to the beginnings of the 1960’s. Wood states that potential reform during a ten year period from 1961-1972 on the part of the Democrats, resulted in a drop in the incarceration rate (Wood, 2003). What is most interesting to note is what was taking place in the country during some of the dramatic increases. During 1925-1939 the country suffered a major financial hit – The Great Depression. People were out of work and food was scarce, in the 1960’s the country was experiencing social turmoil. These two

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