Private Prisons

Topics: Prison, Criminal justice, Penology Pages: 4 (1478 words) Published: December 1, 2013
Privatization of Prisons
As state budgets throughout America become tighter because of rising costs, many are looking at private prisons as a way to reduce the cost in detaining inmates. Just like everything else in America there has to be a debate about it. There are those that are for the privatization of prisons and those that are against it. James A. Fagin introduced this topic in his text book CJ2013; he discussed the major selling point of private prisons, and the problems that states are faced with. The major selling point for the privatization of prisons is cost reduction for states. It’s argued that private prisons can reduce costs by millions because the upfront high costs to build new prisons do not have to be spent by the states; it is the private prison owner’s responsibility (Fagin 239). Another selling point is that with temporary increases in the prison population within states, they will not have to commit to permanent personnel and facility upgrade costs (Fagin 240). Private prisons also market themselves to states by promising to provide jobs in low-income communities and providing inmate labor for community projects (Fagin 241). Although it seems to make sense that states should save money because of private prisons, the Arizona Department of Corrections performed a study in 2011 that suggested that private prisons would only save the states about 3 cents per day. The study suggested that when factors such as the exclusion of certain inmates such as maximum-security prisoners, inmates with limited physical capacity, inmates with severe physical disabilities, inmates with chronic illnesses, and inmates with high-cost medical needs or high-need mental health conditions private prisons may cost more per inmate than state prisons because all the high-cost inmates are left within the state prison system costing the states more money (Fagin 239, 240). Those that oppose the privatization of prisons have a plethora of gripes. According to...

Cited: Fagin, James A. CJ2013. Boston: Pearson, 2014. Print. (239-241)
Nink, Carl E., and Judith Kilgus. Comparing Public and Private Prison Costs: The Arizona Method. American Correctional Association Incorperated, Apr. 2000. Web. 11 Nov. 2013
Oppel, Richard A., Jr. "Private Prisons Found to Offer Little in Savings." The New York Times, 18 May 2011. Web. 11 Nov. 2013
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