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Privatized Prisons and Unions


I would appreciate assistance with the following questions:

1. Debate It. Take a position for or against privatization of prisons.

2. As Human Resource Director for the Department of Corrections in the state of VA, you have been selected to participate on the Advisory Council. There has been increased attention to several employees regarding prison rape and increased drug use. Recommend two (2) strategies your agency and the Advisory Board should implement to address these issues from an HR perspective.

Thank you!

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The debate about privatizing the prison system is an ongoing one. Those who are for privatization claim contractors can operate prisons at a lower cost for the same services. Those against privatization claim that the process is an exploitation of society (The Corrections Project, 2001)Government run prisons have served the U.S. for decades. They are not perfect, but have served a purpose and have kept what society deems the most dangerous or most harmful criminals off the streets. Today the U.S. has the highest population of prisoners in the world. Prisons are overcrowded, with limited funding for new facilities. However, privatizing the prison system is not the answer. In the few prisons that have already been privatized there is no evidence that the facilities are safer or are costing the taxpayers less money.

Some who support privatization say contractors can build new facilities and make prisons safer this way. However, private contractors make money from each inmate and it is their ultimate goal to profit from the prison population. Privatization of the prison solution is not the solution to the problem. Prisons are and should continue to be run by government officials. Government entities have fewer political ties and little incentive to profit from the prison system. Privatization will not save taxpayers money. Nor will it make the facilities safer and more pleasant environments to work in. Anyone who is continually exposed to criminals within the prison system is subject to increased deviant behavior (Micieli, nd). Therefore, the safety of prison workers cannot be ensured no matter how well a facility to house prisoners is built or how it is operated. Prison culture is a phenomenon that occurs as a social structure within the walls of the prison rather than as a result of physical structure.

It is true that privatizing prisons can create jobs. Former or retired law enforcement officials and others in a community may find a new corrections facility a suitable place for employment. Private contractors often build new facilities, which creates construction jobs. However, this does not necessarily translate into economic improvement for an area where a prison is located. According to The Corrections Project (2001) publicly funded systems tend to continue feeding into the community In other public programs. Private funds never go beyond the company making a profit.

Profitability for privately run prisons can create problems within the prisons themselves. "Choices ...

Solution Summary

The privatization of prisons and unions are examined.