Thursday, November 3, 2011

Prison Privatization

By privatizing prisons, Americans are incentivizing an increase in the numbers of prisoners and the length of their incarceration, according to the ACLU. Furthermore, there is a profit driven motive for a reduction in the standard of care for prisoners. There is little evidence to support the notion that privatization of prisons reduces the cost to governments. For example, the Arizona Auditor General warned of the increased cost of private prisons, and was factually supported in his analysis when the only state department to receive an increased budget in 2012 was the Dept. of Corrections despite increased privatization of the prison system. Additionally, there have been instances of private prison developers bribing judges to impose longer sentences to increase their profits. Private prison companies also devote an expansive effort on lobbying, which may prevent governments from deciding on the issue of prison privatization on purely economic and policy grounds. Should anyone be allowed to profit from the imprisonment of others?

See the ACLU summary, or read the full report.

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