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Privatization vs. Public: The Correctional System

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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.

QUESTIONS:

1. First, as a public sector correctional administrator make the arguments for keeping the jails in public hands.
2. Second, as a private sector correctional facility manager make the arguments for turning the correctional system over to the private correctional industry.
3. Also, 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 before privatization could occur?

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Solution Preview

Interesting research project. Please see response attached for links and hyperlinks, which is also presented below. I also attached two articles to consider. I hope this helps and take care.

RESPONSE:

Interesting research project! Let's take a closer look through outline, discussion and research findings, which you can draw on for your final copy.

Your tentative outline might look something to the effect:

I. Introduction (about ¼-1/2 page, introducing topic; include a purpose statement: The purpose of this paper it to...)
II. Opponents: Arguments Against Privatization (about 2-2 1/2 pages)
III. Proponents: Arguments for Privatization (about 2-2 1/2 pages)
IV. Challenges of Public and Private? (about 1 page)
V. Any Ethical or Legal Issues? (about ½ - 1 page)
VI. Conclusion (sum up main points)

Now let's look at some information to consider for each section, which you can draw on for your final copy.

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. Privatization can take several different forms: the company can take over a previously public facility, the company can build a facility and lease it to the government, or the company can both build and operate an institution. In the United States, privatization typically refers to a process whereby the state continues to fund the full costs of incarceration but the private sector's job consists of providing the management of both custody and programming (Harding, 1997). http://www.johnhoward.ab.ca/PUB/C46.htm#4

From another source:

According to the University of Florida's Private Corrections Project, by the end of 1997. The number of inmates in private prisons increased about 25 percent, from 85,201 to 104,000, and the number of private prisons rose to over 155. The final numbers are not in for 1998, but the rate of growth appears to have been about the same. Private prisons do not just hold minimum-security prisoners. There are currently three maximum-security, 16 all-level, and 53 medium-security private facilities, as well as many minimum-security private facilities.

II. Opponents: Arguments for Keeping jails Public

As a public sector, correctional administrator makes the arguments for keeping the jails in public hands. The main just of these arguments are that government run jails provide better quality programs and better protect the civil liberties of the inmates. (See attached article, which refutes these arguments and the second article for other arguments: Assessing the Issue_Pros and Cons of Privatization.doc)

For example, Corrections U.S.A. (CUSA) is a not-for-profit corporation formed by correctional officers in 1998 to provide national representation to correctional officers employed by federal, state and local governments. We proudly represent over 80,000 publicly employed correctional officers from across this nation. They have zero tolerance for privatization of federal, state, and local corrections as a matter of public safety. Organizations and individuals are not allowed to become members of CUSA if they work for a private prison company or represent private prison employees. Fighting prison privatization is CUSA's number one priority. View CUSA's resolution against prison privatization. http://www.cusa.org/aboutus.asp

From another source:

This source argues that privatization increases the number of prisons and incarcerated due to the profit motive. The ...

Solution Summary

In the public vs. privatization debate in the correctional systems, this solution discusses the argument for keeping jails in the public hands and/or privatization, and the challenges faced by both. It also discusses any legal issues (criminal and civil) that need to be addressed before privatization could occur.

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