At the expense of the young, to the detriment of the poor, and on the backs of the immigrants is the means by which the private prison companies have constructed a business that trades freedoms for profit but more concerning is to what ends these freedoms are being exchanged. The advancement of the private prison system has changed the face of the prison industry as we know it. Because little attention has been given in the media to the private prison industry, they have been able to expand their influence and their revenue by means the average American would consider unscrupulous. Private prisons came about to act as the solution to a problem facing federal prisons, overcrowding, which was created due to the war on drugs, but in acting as a solution to one problem they created another one that could be more problematic than the one it intended to fix. Proponents of private, for profit, prisons claim that it is a better alternative than federal prisons because they can provide the same service for less and save taxpayers money in the process. They also contend that the service they provide would help to stimulate the economy. However, privatization of America’s prison systems will contribute to an increase in the incarceration rate and unfairly target certain demographics of the population, which could lead to psychological trauma affecting the people of those demography’s that it
Crime rates are down in America, yet there is an unproportionately large number of Americans incarcerated. This paper will delve into and examine this problem and how it is closely linked to private prisons and the issues surrounding them. While private prisons claim to be cost effective and well-run, evidence has shown that these profit-driven companies ignore ethical consequences by purposefully lengthening prisoners’ sentences, target certain groups for incarceration and maintain despicable living standards for the prisoners; ultimately, these prisons have caused more harm than good for the state.
In America today, there is a trend in corrections of taking the duty of running prisons out of the hands of state and federal authorities and contracting it out to private organizations. Along with the drift to privatization is a plethora of research pertaining to the subject taking many different approaches to analyzing the effectiveness. The majority of research focuses on one of three areas. The first questioning whether or not it is cost effective to make the switch. The second being the ethical problems that can and have risen from the privatization of prisons. The third being a wide painting of the change and the implications it has on society as a whole.
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
Despite what you may think, private prisons have existed in the United States dating all the way back to 1852, beginning with the San Quentin state prison. Private prisons did not truly become as common as they are today though until President Ronald Reagan led a large-scale effort for increased privatization around the United States during the 1980’s. One result of this effort was a large upswing in the number of private prisons. As a result of private prisons becoming more common place, it has been seen that compared to prisons run by the government, length of sentences have gone up within private prisons, while at the same time the treatment of prisoners has gone down. This topic interests me because I believe that it should never be in the best interests of such a large and powerful group to have as many people as possible in prison for as long as possible. In my opinion, it is not ethically correct on a basic human level to ever have it in people’s best interests to keep other people in prison. I chose this topic because I have always held a strong opinion on this topic but have never had the time to do extensive research on it and either confirm or dispel my current beliefs about it.
In America, there are fundamental principles upon which our nation is built. Beliefs that all Americans naturally possess the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness seem all pervasive. Today in America, equality encompasses religion, sexual orientation, race, and everything in between. These values have become so intrinsic to the modern human condition that the mind shirks from the prospect of denying them to anyone. However, it seems that certain areas of American society have become exempt from the moral imperative that is upholding these basic and fundamental rights. It has become brutally obvious that private prisons have failed to respect the humanity of their inmates, which is why the United States Federal Government should
In our nation’s history, the use of private prisons has played a major role in domestic slave trading. The 13th Amendment officially abolished slavery in 1865. However, due to the plain language of the 13th Amendment, it is be interpreted in a way that allows slavery so long as it is used as criminal punishment. The 13th Amendment reads, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” Private prisons have been abusing and misusing this language for years. The Jim Crowe era, which implemented the “convict leasing” system, is a prime example of how private prisons have used prisoners
For profit prisons are contracted out to the government to help hold convicted criminals. Private prisons are thought to help save money for states, it also helps with overcrowding. Since America incarcerates so many people they didn’t have space to put everyone. So, they started using private prisons. But private prisons can be more dangerous than public prisons. The conditions in private prison are not very good, and there have been many complaints about it. Some people think that inmates should not be sold for profit. The for-profit prison industry has two main corporations the Geo and the CCA.
Thesis: Private prisons actually exacerbate many of the issues they were designed to solve by incentivizing increased incarceration, and at the same time they produce lower value than regular prisons while ultimately costing more, such that private prisons should be abolished and incarceration should remain exclusively public.
Almost two million men and women are held in prisons across the US. However, as each year passes more and more of these men and women are being held in privately run prisons. At first glance saving the U.S. government money through the use of private prisons might seem like a good thing, but as a whole these privately run prisons are hurting our country. Should the justice system really be something we should be turning into a business opportunity to make money? I believe the U.S. should stop giving grants to private prisons and instead use that money to expand and improve the public prison system. Moving towards private prisons is putting more money in the pockets of corporations and less money towards improving
Over the last couple of years, there has been a major discussion as to whether you should privatize a medium-security prison in your state. They guarantee substantial savings to the state and that may be true but the effects of this would be much greater. Private prisons have been known for inmate misconduct and lead to many court cases. Penal Corporation left out that they offer inadequate compensation to staff which can lead to many problems. Finally, although it may not be factual, it is said that private prisons have no lower and maybe higher rates of recidivism.
The United States government had been working closely with private prison corporations for over three decades. Private prisons were first constructed to help the U.S. government house an ever-expanding prison population, and to relieve the government of some expenses. Today, these privately owned facilities have stirred up controversy with the questionable results of their formation. While it can be difficult to compare private prisons to public prisons, several researchers conclude that private prison corporations are harmful to society in the United States because they hinder economic stability, establish systems that negatively impact prison staff and inmates, and
As previously stated, private prison companies have to rely on the big prison population in order for them to make money because he main concern of these private corporations that run these facilities is money. Due to this, these companies will do whatever it takes to make sure the prison population increases so they can keep making money. Therefore, the private prison companies will lobby for laws to boost the prison population. Due to this financial motive they will do whatever it takes to make money. In the Corrections Corporation of America’s 2010 Annual Report they even stated the following:
Nixon’s presidency as well as Reagan’s and Clinton’s administration helped fuel imprisonment as laws became “tougher on crime” with the creation of stricter measures and a higher number of control agencies. As a result; sentencing laws got longer, mandatory minimums compulsory and life sentences- also known as the three strikes law- became the standard. Locking people up became the easiest solution for a government that wanted the “undesirables” out of sight, a susceptible and fearful public, and a underdeveloped network in charge of alternative solutions such as mental health and rehabilitation facilities. Inevitably, the size of prison population dramatically increased and penal institutions overpopulated. It wasn’t long until people saw an opportunity in chaos. In 1983, Thomas Beasley, Doctor R, Crants and T. Don Hutto created the first private prison in the U.S. the Corrections Corporations of America or CCA. Today, the CCA is the second-largest private prison in the U.S running more than 61 facilities and at a stock market value of $447 million as in 2015. The pioneer idea that revolutionized prison can’t be better described than in Beasley's own words; “‘You just sell [prisons] like you were selling cars, or real estate, or hamburgers.” Consequently, other companies
The United States has had a long and controversial history when it comes to the U.S prison system. Holding only approximately 5% of the global population; U.S prisoners account for almost 25% of the worlds prisoners, having even more than China; a nation with almost a billion more citizens than the U.S (PrisonStudies.org) Even when considering these alarming statistics, discussing the method of caring for, feeding, and rehabilitating prisoners in the U.S is often avoided as many United States citizens are uninformed on the subject. Perhaps because of this lack on information; certain states have begun handing over the responsibilities of running U.S prisons to private companies. These privately owned prisons are run by corporations; and