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An Investigation of Correctional Systems and Prisons

One of the recent developments facing the public administration of corrections is that there has been an increasing call by public officials and the citizenry to privatize the prison systems in the U.S.

Please answer the following:

1. I have been appointed as a public sector correctional administrator and need to make the arguments for keeping the jails in public hands.

2. I have been appointed as a private sector correctional facility manager and need to make the arguments for turning the correctional system over to the private correctional industry.

3. I must briefly discuss the types of challenges each sector (both public and private) may face.

4. Are there any legal issues (criminal and civil) that need to be addressed by each sector?

Solution Preview

1. Should the private sector be responsible for a function traditionally performed by the government sector? Or is it possible for the government to delegate certain areas of responsibility to the private sector while continuing to maintain full authority?Does privatization mean the private sector will take the more "favorable" prisoners leaving more difficult inmates for the government? Can the economic objectives of running a prison be met without conflicting with the operational objectives? You should argue of a privatization claim that contractors will cut comers at the expense of the prisoner's welfare.
The public employee unions representing public sector prison workers, such as the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal. Employees (AFSCME), fear that extensive privatization will reduce salary and fringe benefits for prison workers. You should argue that while public guards cannot strike and private guards can strike under the protection of the National Labor Relations Act. However, many contracts can contain provisions denying these private employees the right to strike.

You may argue that the quality of management in private prisons will tend to be high at first, because of competition and the desire to win contracts. However, they question the ...

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