The Negative Effects Of Prison Privatization

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Introduction The immersion of the private sector in American prisons is not a new engagement. The government of the United States has contracted out assistance from private businesses for decades. The services range from medical to vocal training, transportation, and food preparation. In the 1980’s a notable change took place in regards to services being rendered to prisons. The war on drugs, prison overcrowding and inflation completely changed the structure of the way prisons were operated. A surge of incarcerated people became a huge problem for federal, local and state governments to handle. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that operate independently of the government saw the issue as an opportunity for expansion and soon after…show more content…
Articles and information regarding the negative effect of incarceration are constant in the media. However, information pertaining to the increasing amount of business owners that profit from the growth of prison population is scarce and widely publicized. “No private stakeholder has had a larger interest in the growth of the American prison system than the world’s largest prison company, the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA).” (Heri Vel, 2007, p.11) Earning around two billion this enterprise runs the fifth largest penal system that stretches throughout nineteen states. From the beginning, the CCA has engaged in political endeavors with public officials and boldly made two attempts gain control of the entire Tennessee prison system. The private prison franchise was established publicly in 1984 when the CCA was awarded its first contract in Tennessee. This was the initial attempt by the US government to contract out the whole operation of a prison to a private-sector franchise. Along with the CCA, other companies such as Wackenhut can operate out of the public eye and are not held to the same standards as government ran correctional facilities. “When CCA first wanted to move into Tennessee, then-governor Lamar Alexander was vocally opposed to private prisons operating in the state. Within two years, Alexander changed his position. At the same time, his wife, Honey, received over $130,000…show more content…
The escapees were sex offenders that were previously sent to Texas from Oregon. The prisoners were with a group of over two hundred sex offenders that came from Oregon. When local police where notified of the escape they were not prepared. They had no knowledge of the influx of sex offenders to begin with. This became a hot issue and without hesitation the CCA obnoxiously declared that since they were a private prison they had no legal duty to release information about the prisoners from out of state. In 2000, the US Department of Justice filed a law suit against a Wackenhut owned juvenile private facility because of brutal methods of behavior control directed at the young juvenile prisoners. The law suit alleged that some of the teens were physically beaten and sprayed with pepper spray and mace. In April of 2000, Wackenhut relinquished all control over the juvenile private prison facility. Finally, after a little over a year of opening a private corrections center in Ohio had already experienced thirteen stabbings, six escaped inmates and to murders. Locals were quoted as saying “ There is nothing in Ohio’s history like the violence at that prison”. After an official investigation was started, it was disclosed that the root of the problem was the inability of the private prison to adequetaly train the correctional officers. The court officially ordered the removal of one hundred and thirteen of the

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