Private Prisons

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A private for-profit prison is a place in which individuals are physically confined or interned by a third party that is contracted by a government agency. The privatization of prisons refers both to the takeover of existing public facilities as well as the building and operation of new and additional prisons by for-profit companies. Over the past four decades, spurred by criminal laws that put more people in prison for longer sentences, imprisonment in the United States has increased explosively. Beginning in the 1980’s public policy makers turned to privatization as a means of curbing the rising costs of public programs. The nation has seen a rise in for-profit prison companies, which benefit from keeping more people locked up. Private prison companies…show more content…
Current trends indicate that changes in policy reforms can lead to improvements in the way states spend money for corrections. Policymakers, concerned with political strategies used by Private Prisons, are looking at criminal justice reforms that would safely shrink the size of the prison population. Reductions in crime rates or resources dedicated to prevent and enforce crime, with respect to drugs and controlled substances, could lead to reductions in arrests, convictions and sentences requiring incarceration at correctional facilities. According to the Corrections Corporation of America, the nation’s largest owner and operator of privatized correctional and detention facilities and the leading corrections management provider to federal, state and local governmental agencies, “The demand for our facilities and services could be adversely affected by the relaxation of enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction or parole standards and sentencing practices or through the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by our criminal laws” (Ashton & Petteruti,
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