Table of Contents
.docx#_Toc416423333″>3. Cases of
.docx#_Toc416423334″>3.1 Case of Metropolitan
Women Correctional centre, Australia.4
.docx#_Toc416423335″>3.2 Case of Prairie
Correctional Facility: – Appleton ,
paper analyses the ethical issues involved in privatization of prisons. For this
purpose various cases of private prisons such as – Metropolitan Women
correction Centre, Australia and Prairie Correctional Facility at Appleton,
Minnesota are being discussed in this paper. This paper also provides for
alternative solutions to the issue presented and how such issues can be avoided
Privatization of public services has been subject to
debate from past few decades. Cash strapped countries and states go for
privatization public services. Similar
has been the case of prison’s and correction services. Prisons are being
privatized in more and more countries across the world so as to remove strain
from government budgets and to achieve operating efficiency. The prisons were
initially privatized in the United States during mid 1980s and was soon adopted by other
countries such as Australia, Brazil and the United Kingdom. There are about 100
private prisons in the United States, 11 in UK and 7 private prisons in
Australia (Dana Kaplan & Bob Libal, 2006). Reason for growing popularity of
private prisons is the cost saving and operating efficiency. Private companies
are held accountable by government for such prisons and in case government
feels that prisons are not being managed well it can cancel the contract.
who are against this privatization argue that private companies manage to
reduce costs by reducing standards of prison conditions and furthermore they
are not capable of handling prisoners and prison management. Furthermore
fundamentally, it is being criticized that imprisonment is part of criminal
judiciary system and an essential public sector function whose delegation is morally
unethical. Field (1986) argues in his book- that “prison privatization
represents the government’s abdication of one of its most basic
responsibilities to its people.” Even DiIulio(1990) agrees with this view and
writes: In my judgment, to remain legitimate and morally significant, the
authority to govern behind bars, to deprive citizens of their liberty, to
coerce (and even kill) them, must remain in the hands of government
of private prisons
of prisons is ethical or not can be understood better by discussing some real
life cases of privatization. Here I have analyzed two cases of privatization: –
Case of Prairie Correctional Facility, Appleton, Minnesota and Case of
Metropolitan Women Correctional center, Australia.
Women’s correct center was first private prison for women outside America
opened in August 1996. Government opted
for privatization due to massive cost saving and promise from private players
to provide better conditions to prisoners. However due to numerous complaints
and issues the state government took control of the prison in October 2000 and
the ownership was being transferred to public sector. There were numerous
allegations about the critical incidents and unacceptable practices being followed
by the management of this prison. Chemical weapons such as tear gas were being
used by prison authorities to manage women prisoners. There was a constant
staff shortage due to high turnover. There was rise of self harm cases in this
prison. Privatization which was adopted for improving prison conditions led to
contradictory results due to lack of accountability.
3.2 Case ofPrairie Correctional Facility:
– Appleton, Minnesota
ineffectiveness of privatization of prisons and correctional services have been
researched and documented by various authors and analysts. One such Study was
being conducted by Judith Grene’s in CCA’s Prairie Correctional Facility (PCF)
in Appleton, Minnesota in 1998. Some of the important finds of this study were:-
- Level of medical care given under private and
public prisons were more of less same. However more dental care was being
provided in public prisons.
- More health related education was being
provided in public prisons compared to private prisons.
- Educational and pre release programs offered by
public prisons were much better than private prisons.
held that privatization lowers the level of effectiveness of correctional
services as in order to earn profits private players indulge in cost cutting
which leads to reduction in quality of prison conditions (Judith Greene, 2003).
Sector in order to achieve cost efficiency should look for alternate means. It
should focus on reducing the number of intimates, as the reduction in number of
intimates would lead to reduction in cost of managing the prisons. Every
country should analyze the reasons for increasing numbers of intimates and
should address the issue at national level. It should adopt some measures other
than arrests such as citation programs. In these programs offenders are given
citations without being arrested (Dana Kaplan & Bob Libal, 2006). Proper
rehabilitation would also deter the people from indulging in criminal
the basis of the above cases it can be concluded that privatization in
correctional services should avoided at all cost. Rather state should focus on
reducing the number of intimates so as to control costs. It should further
evolve its law system and innovate alternative sentencing for misdemeanor
offences (Dana Kaplan & Bob Libal, 2006). It should also focus on faster
pre conviction system so as to reduce the load on prisons.
- Correctional Services commissioner’s report onMetropolitan
Women’s CorrectionalCentre. Retrieved from:-
- Dana Kaplan & Bob Libal
(2006). “Progress or Profit? Positive alternatives to privatization and
incarceration in Shelby county, Tennessee”. Retrieved from:-
- J. Field (1986). “Making Prisons Private:
An Improper Delegation of a Government al Power”. Hofstra Law Review.
- John J. DiIulio(1990).
“The Duty to Govern: A Critical Perspective on the Private Management of
Prisons and Jails.”Sage Publications.
- Judith Greene (2001).
“Bailing out Private Jails.”The American Prospect.
- Judith Greene (2003). “Lack
of correctional Services”. Clarity Press.