Privatization of the Prison System

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Privatization of the Prison System Dustin Matthews Park University Privatization of the Prison System Introduction Our criminal justice system consists of many components that are necessary to keep our communities safe and distribute proper punishment of criminal offenders to include confinement. Perhaps the most scrutinized component of our criminal justice system is the corrections phase. Over recent decades the correctional system has experienced an astronomical increase in inmate population. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, as of 2010, the nation’s inmate population is well over 2.2 million and continues to rise. This enormous population has created severe prison overcrowding as well as an ever increasing financial burden on federal, state, and local governments. Furthermore, security, housing, and providing healthcare for such a large population has placed a substantial burden on correctional personnel and prison administrators as well (Bureau of Justice Assistance [BJA], 2001). The increasing demand for more prison space and prison facilities, while governments attempt to reduce correctional funding has sparked a crisis within the criminal justice system. As the corrections system began to take on public criticism in the early 1980’s, policy makers were looking for solutions and one such solution was to privatize state and local prisons. With promises to provide additional facilities, more secure facilities, more jobs and better jobs while reducing government spending, privatization looked as though it might be a viable solution. However, after decades of research and study on the privatization of prisons there has been an emergence of issues and arguments related to privatization, both positive and negative. Proponents of Privatization Perhaps the most influential reason for state and federal governments to privatize prisons

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