Pros and Cons of Prison

Topics: Prison, Penology, Recidivism Pages: 6 (2388 words) Published: January 28, 2013
Pros and Cons of Prison Privatization
Prisons are institutions that have specifically been designed to handle the members of the society who are under conviction of different crimes. The people who reside in the prisons are referred to as inmates or prisoners and the time they spend in the prisons depends on the imprisonment period. This period is dependent of the intensity of the crime committed. Once in the prisons, the inmates undergo rehabilitation, incapacitation, retribution and deterrence which are elements for considered appropriate for the provision of justice to the society. In the past, it has been the responsibility of the government to manage these institutions on behalf of the society. The increased debate on the privatization of different institutions has seen a debate being launched in regard to the privatization of prisons. This implies that the main purposes of these institutions to the society are shifting from not just maintenance of justice but also as a source of financial wealth. The new advancement is directed at allowing the straightening out of the contemporary faults that exist within the public prisons such as recidivism and overcrowding but there are some people who are opposed to this due to some possible negative results. In short, the process of privatizing the prison industry has both negative and positive effects and this paper seeks to address some of the pros and cons of this exercise. Privatization though a new concept to be applied in prison department in most of the countries across the globe, there are a few countries who used it in the past. For example during the mid 18th century, the United States government entered into a treaty with a number of private investors to manage a number of its institutions and these investors went ahead to contract inmates to some of their private enterprises as a source of labor. Some of the institutions that were contracted included 'New York Auburn and Louisiana' penal colonies. However, this did not last for long based on the fact that there was rampant corruption that was carried out as well as vicious resistance from other businesses who termed this as some kind of 'unfair' competition that was caused by these workers who were unpaid. Contemporary private prisons are however not the same as these because they operate on new models that are more promising. The Pros on the Prison Privatization Industry

One of the major benefit that privatization of prisons would bring about is cost saving. The cost of crime depends upon relative increase in the rate of crime. The government in different countries spends billions of dollars every year on construction of prisons so as to be able to handle the increasing rates of crime. This is not the only cost based on the fact that guards to guard these inmates need to be recruited as well as other expenses that include; administration, food, health and education costs. It is argued by the majority of proponents of this idea that private companies can operate the prisons at a cost that is far much low than what the government uses and still maintain the quality services that are required. Some of the major reasons that these proponents give in regard the reduced cost are the elimination of bureaucracy, red tape, and the numerous laws that usually makes the costs of managing the prisons to rise in the case of public prisons. Allowing the private sector to manage these institutions will imply that some of the costs that are involved in learning the jail will not be generated from the tax payer's contribution directly and as a result the money may be diverted to other government projects. This will facilitate better utilization of the government's funds to develop the areas that are in serious need of development. Due to the issue of competition privatization there will be increased productivity as well as reduced waste in terms of resources. Studies have revealed that the boarding cost in the private owned...
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