Disadvantages and Advantages of Private Prisons

There are two main types of prisons in our country. These include federal and private. Federal prisons are funded and ran by the government, they are also monitored by the government, and are not for profit. Private prisons are funded and built by a completely private company, and is completely for profit. Private prisons have been the focus of many debates in the recent years. A variety of questions arise when you throw the words for profit and prison in the same sentence, let alone the same building.

Pros About Private Prisons

1. Necessary Evil
Private prisons dramatically help with the overcrowded federal prison system. They are able to take any over flow that the public prison cannot accommodate.

2. Lowered Costs
Private prisons are not government run or regulated, so they have the ability to buy supplies and equipment in bulk and at lower prices.

3. Community Benefits
The community that the private prison is located in greatly benefits economically. This is due to the amount of jobs that are created and the money that the prison brings in.

4. Free Market
Privatizing prisons allows for competition to begin in the industry. Competition makes these prisons focus on creating the best facility for the least amount of money.

5. Outscore
Private prisons continually outscore federal prisons in categories such as safety, order, security, and overall morale.

6. Less Red Tape
Private prisons are able to avoid many red tape costs that federal prisons have to deal with. Higher pay for employees, more attentive inmate care, and other government regulations are just some examples.

Cons About Private Prisons

1. Corruption
Private prisons are for profit, which leads to a high level of corruption among owners and employees.

2. Cutting Costs And Quality
The main focus for privatized prisons is to cut as many costs as possible. This often means that care of inmates is sacrificed.

3. People Are Goods
The inmates, or people, that are held in private prisons are not seen as people any longer. They become the merchandise in a big business.

4. Unhappy Employees
Private prisons are not required to pay their employees as much as federal prisons. They are paid a substantial amount less and receive far fewer benefits.

5. Training Troubles
Another area that private prisons tend to lack in is the amount of training that their employees receive. Private prison guards go through 35% less training hours than federal prison guards.

6. Employee Turnover
Due to all of the problems involved with private prisons and their employees, there is a pretty large amount of turnover for job positions. This causes comprises in security and operations of the prison.

7. Discourage Freedom
Because they are for profit, private prisons do not encourage early release programs, parole, or good behavioral releases. All of these things cut down on their profits.

8. Rehabilitation Suffers
The focus on money and profits causes the care and treatment of prisoners to suffer greatly. Their rehabilitation and programs designed to help them in the free world also suffers tremendously.

9. Lock Up Quotas
Many private prisons operate underneath things called lock up quotas. These are percentage amounts that are listed in contracts with the state, depicting what percentage of capacity has to be filled at all times.

Important Facts About Private Prisons

  • The number of inmates in private prisons in the United States increased 1,600% between 1990 and 2010.
  • The private prison industry is worth over 70 billion dollars.
  • The Corrections Corporation of America or CCA was the first modern for profit prison company.
  • 33 states in the United States have private prisons.
  • 89 percent of people held in private prisons are of young age and color.
  • Arizona has 3 prisons operating on 100% lock up quotas.
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