Prison Privatization

4 April 2015
Analyzes need for & benefits of this approach to overcrowding. Economics, legal issues, administration, liability, philosophies of punishment, role of govt. and public vs. private interest.

For-profit incarceration is a controversial idea, but it appears to have become a permanent part of the American criminal justice landscape. While it is uncertain whether private prisons actually save any taxpayer money, and the ethical issues are troubling, those issues do not appear to place the industry in any real danger. There are several reasons for this, but it may be largely due to apathy on the part of the average American. While legal scholars and civil rights advocates may be troubled by the criminalization of status behavior, like drug offenses, or the incarceration of people by private firms, the average American may not fully understand the ramifications of those legal issues. In addition, even those that do understand the constitutional ramifications may feel like, because the impacted people are convicted criminals, concerns about their civil rights should be secondary to financial concerns. Whatever the reason, the reality is that prison overcrowding, which will continue as an issue unless America revises its current drug policies, is a serious problem, and that states cannot meet the demand for new prisons. Therefore, prison privatization is not only likely to continue, but to continue to grow, as a major part of the American criminal-justice landscape.
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