Privatizing prisons may be one way for the prison population to get back under control. Prisons are overcrowded and need extra money to house inmates or to build a new prison. The issue of a serious need for space needs to be addressed. “As a national average, it costs roughly $20,000 per year to keep an inmate in prison. There are approximately 650,000 inmates in state and local prisons, double the number five years ago. This costs taxpayers an estimated $18 billion each year. More than two thirds of the states are facing serious overcrowding problems, and many are operating at least 50 percent over capacity. (Joel, 1988)” Private prisons may be for profit, but if they can solve the issue of cost then it may be a better option than what is currently in place. Cost is one main issue that pushes for private prisons. The cost has the potential to be much lower in private prisons than in government run facilities.
Everyone can see there is an opportunity to make money as a company in a way that helps everyone in America, i.e. saving taxpayers money. The market structure is unique for private prisons. Demand for prisons seems to be ever increasing. Nearly every prison in America is overcrowded and will continue to be so if new prisons are not built. This problem of prison shortages could be lessened by supplying more prison space at a lower cost than federal prisons can. This market is special because demand for prisons is high, while supply of prisons is low. That’s what makes this industry so appealing. The private prison never has to worry about being thrown out the window or not having enough business. The niche is that private prisons are a good substitute for the federally run prison. As their costs go up, the more government will desire their services. The laws ensure that they will have inmates. Technology won’t be a problem since most prisons have very basic amenities and haven’t changed dramatically over the past
References: Edwards E., (2005). Publicizing Private Prisons. Drum Major Institute for Public Policy. Retrieved May 29, 2008, from http://www.dmiblog.com/archives/2007/07/publicizing_private_prisons.html Joel D., (1988). A Guide to Prison Privatization. The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved May 24, 2008, from http://www.heritage.org/Research/Crime/BG650.cfm Volokh, A. (2008). PRIVATIZATION AND THE LAW AND ECONOMICS OF POLITICAL ADVOCACY. Stanford Law Review, 60 (4), 1197-1253 . Retrieved May 24, 2008, from EBSCOhost database. Shichor, D. (1998). Private Prisons in Perspective: Some Conceptual Issues. Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 37 (1), 182 . Retrieved May 24, 2008, from EBSCOhost database. Thomas C.W., (2001). How Private Operation Has Evolved. NATIONAL CENTER FOR POLICY ANALYSIS. Retrieved May 30, 2008, from http://www.ncpa.org/ba/ba191.html