Private Prisons


Private prisons, commonly known as for profit prisons, were developed in the States by the Corrections Corporation of American in the 1 980 's . The private prison system involves the incarceration of prisoners by a third party that is contracted by a government agency. While private prisons save the government and taxpayers money, they provide a dis advantage to society at large as well as those incarcerated and also open the door for moral dilemmas in the judicial system.
Currentl y, private prisons are becoming a more popular choice for detaining prisoners. In 2016 it was reported that private prisons held nearly three-quarters of federal immigration detainees. (ACLU,2016) However the conditions that these prisoners live in is sub par when compared to sta te run prisons. Private prisons higher fewer guard because the pay is less attractive. This heightens the levels of violence and riot ing as there are less people to help control it. Not only is prisoner safety affected: so is their health. A class action suit on behalf of prisoners at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility in Utah stated that as a direct result of the atrocious food , a majority of the inmates looked emaciated and had lost anywhere from 10- 60 pounds on average.
Furthermore , when companies profit from the incarceration of men and women, the only means of increasing the profit is increasing the number of persons being sent to jail. This leads to the laws being broken by members of the judicial system such as prosecutors and jurors to ensure that this prisons profit. This has been se en time and time again. In February 2011 , a Penn sylvania Judge Mark Ciavarella was convicted of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy in connection with payments received from a private prison ( aclu,2016 ) . He was sending people to for p rofit prisons because it allowed him to profit. This is just an example of what can happen when people profit from locking persons away.

Studies show that the United States has the most persons in lockup in the world. Having a prison system which benefits from high numbers of people being incarcerated has led to the overcrowding seen in jails today.

There are studies which contradict the pejorative view that has been presented. In the New York Times, a 2016 article states that private prisoners are better able to keep prisoners safe because they are better able to find and seiz e contraband than public counterparts. Furthermore, their investigation showed that inmates in private prisons are less likely to use drugs, be involved in misconduct or die. The cost of taking care of these inmates is over $3,000 less per inmate than public prisons.