Public or Privatized Prison Systems

Topics: Prison, Supermax, Privatization Pages: 6 (2017 words) Published: September 11, 2013
4 AU

Unit Four – Public or Privatized Prison Systems
Phillip Ishee
American InterContinental University

This assignment will discuss two arguments that the public sector prisons can make to keep prisons in the public’s hands, while also discussing two arguments the private sector can make to get the prisons in their hands. This assignment will also discuss any legal issues of privatizing prisons and the challenges both private and public prisons face.

During the course of a prison and its lifetime it may run into problems. When prisons run into problems the solutions can come easily or they can be tough to get. When it comes to problems such as budgets and overcrowding, privatizing prisons can seem like a good idea but sometime keeping a prison public can be the better idea. It all comes down to who has the better benefits and less disadvantages.

The first thing to determine is to take a look at the public prison sector and determine if it is more beneficial than that of the private sector. The first public prisons in the United States were constructed around 1570 by Spanish soldiers in St. Augustine, Florida. It wasn’t until after the revolutionary war that there were penal reforms, some of which are still used to a degree today. When the 1830’s came around the Pennsylvania system was created, in which each inmate was keep separate from each other and it was determined that this would help each inmate on their own rehabilitation if they did not know who there were incarcerated. Over the course of American History, different means of torture were used in prisons which could and would result in deteriorated health of the inmates or a deteriorated mental health state, things such as lashes and paddles, wearing iron cages on their heads, brick bags and the water crib were used. To a more modern note, incarceration remains one of the main forms of punishment, rehabilitation or both in the United States for criminals. There are different levels of prisons within the correctional system and they are federal, state and local/community. The prisons are ran publically which allows the state and federal government to fund the prisons for the things they need while allowing the prisons to choose what to do with their funding based upon their needs.

The different prisons fall into different levels based upon what type of prisoners they hold and what kind of security is needed for those inmates. The first level of security is the minimum and medium security prisons. These prisons are more relaxed about security, allowing inmates to congregate and sleep in dormitories (Vince J. De Maille - Incarceration 101 Program). The next security set up is the close security prisons. These prisons usually only have one or two inmates per cell, each cell has a sink and toilet. The inmates may leave their cells to congregate in the commons area, exercise yard or for work assignments. The next setup is the maximum security prisons. Within these prisons, the inmates all have their own cell that has a toilet and sink, some facilities require inmates to be in their cell 23 hours a day but some allow free movement in the cell block or an exterior cage. The fourth type of prison is the supermax prison. The inmates in these prisons are considered the most dangerous and therefore this prison boasts the highest security. There is only one of these facilities in the United States and it is named ADX Florence (Vince J. De Maille - Incarceration 101 Program).

When looking at why prisons should be kept in public hands it is difficult to decide which arguments are best suited for which situations. When it comes to public prisons, one argument could be made that the health and safety of the prisoners can be strictly enforced by the government since it is a government owned and ran facility (Keep Prisons Public). When the government gives funding to the prisons then it becomes their prerogative to make...

References: Keep Prisons Public. (n.d.). Retrieved from PSA:
Reutter, D. M. (n.d.). Florida privides lesson in how not to privatize state prisons. Retrieved from Prison Legal News:
Vince J. De Maille - Incarceration 101 Program. (n.d.). Retrieved from Incarceration 101:
Who Benefits When A Private Prison Comes To Town? (2011, November 05). Retrieved from NPR:
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