Pros and Cons of Private Prisons

Prosand Cons of Private Prisons

Prosand Cons of Private Prisons

Severalarguments exist for private prisons. First, the process of obtainingthe required bed capacity is usually cheaper and quite faster thanfor the public prisons. In most cases, it takes the government overtwo years to construct a prison while it would only takeapproximately 15 months for a private prison to be built (Anderson,2009). Additionally, the private companies can construct theseprisons at places where they can benefit the community throughemployment and corporate social responsibility. The private prisonsalso have a lower cost of operation than the public prisons. Thisnotion is true since there is the reduction of the red tape and highlevel of bureaucracy that is seen with the federal prisons (Pollock,2012). Due to the high competition in the market, the quality of lifein private prisons is usually more improved than in the public ones.They tend to operate at cheaper rates but higher standards. Forexample, the average capacity of various private prisons isapproximately 85% while that of the public prisons is around 114%(Antonuccio, 2008).

Privateprisons also have some disadvantages. Putting the inmates in thehands of the private sector is quite detrimental since they are for –profit organization. In this perspective, the private prisonmanagement has the primary goal of cutting costs. The employee wagerates would, therefore, become lower (Camp, &amp Gaes, 2002). Thiswould lead to high employee turnover which is disadvantageous to theemployment levels of the country. Furthermore, the correctionalofficers are not well trained since the management is trying toreduce the cost of training (Antonuccio, 2008). This leads to thewrong administration of the inmates. The need for more profits makesthe officers accept bribes from the inmates which lead to corruption.Moreover, the private prisons support three-strike legislation andget agitated on crime. For example, parole, early release, andimproved behavior which are likely to bring fewer profits are usuallydiscouraged by the private prisons (Pollock, 2012).


Anderson,L. (2009). Kicking the national habit: The legal and policy argumentsfor abolishing private prison contracts. Public Contract LawJournal, 39 (1), 113-139.

Antonuccio,R. C. (2008). Prisons for profit: Do the social and politicalproblems have a legal solution?. Journal of Corporation Law, 33(2), 577-593.

Camp,S. D., &amp Gaes, G. G. (2002). Growth and quality of U.S. privateprisons: Evidence from a national survey. Criminology &amp PublicPolicy, 1 (3), 427-449.

Pollock,J. M. (2012). Ethical dilemmas and decisions in criminal justice.Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.