Private Prison Systems

Freshman (College 1st year) ・English ・MLA ・4 Sources

During the mid-1980s, there was a fifteen-year stretch of massive development in US jails, which resulted in a snag in which the federal prison facilities ran out of funds. If the state wanted to create new jails, it would go to the electorate to persuade them to approve the costs in a bond issue (Schlosser 25). At this point, voters were less supportive of additional jails and rejected a bond issue to cover the costs of constructing more prisons. On that note, the only choice was to appeal to private investors and venture capital to develop and manage the new prisons. The overall costs for operating a prison single bed are in the range of $30 to $60 which requires huge funding from the state. State officials needed an answer for more cost effective and also sustainable prison systems that would guarantee incarceration criminals for the correctional purposes. Recently the private prison systems have now become a primary focus for the scandals and the lack of conservation of civil rights of the inmates and other areas that have been established as not going hand in hand with the constitution. It has led to the closing down of the private prison systems. The research presents an argumentative case of why the prison systems should not be considered as the primary form of incarceration and how they have been violating the civil rights of the prisoners that have been incarcerated in these prisons.

The purpose of correctional system is to protect the lives of the public through deterring and removing criminal from the public domain and rehabilitation them not to continue committing crimes. The government has always operated and funded the correctional institutions, but due to increased costs and lack of public funding some states has gone the way of offering contracts to private corporations to increase quality and also save money. There are several areas of the private prisons that have become heavily politicized and lack the proper foundations to serve the purpose of incarcerating prisoners without violating their human rights. Some of the reasons for this is due to the increase in criminals who have to be taken to private prisons that still have funding to continue with their operations (Schlosser 30). The imprisonment of criminals is at an all time high due to the moral failure of the public system and the economy. The incarceration levels have deprived humans of their liberty, and have been increasingly discriminative to people of color, and have had a minimum effect when it comes to the public safety. As the incarceration rates continue to increase the private prisons continue to grow at a very fast rate and the holding of people in prisons has never been so profitable. The holding of more people means increased profits for these private prisons. The increase of prisoners in the private prisons rose to 1600% in the period of 1990 to the year 2009. In the current era, the private prisons are now responsible for a total of 6% or more of the overall prisoners in the United States, they also hold 16% of the federal prisoners, and nearly half of the immigrants criminals are also being held at the private institutions. In the year 2010, the two major private correctional institutions received almost $3 billion in revenue, and the top officials who head the prisons each received a total of $3 million. It shows how much profit the private institutions earn in terms of profit (Craig 78).

Cases of prisoner human rights violations have been considered to be present in the private institutions which have many cases of bribery and money laundering (Newkirk, 11 July 2013). There are a number of cases where prisoners have been killed and injured in the prisons due to inhuman treatment and violent rehabilitation programs that demean the basic human rights. Prisoners in the private prisons also have been reported to not be given any opportunities to actual have programs to give them any post release opportunities. It is different from the approach of the public institutions, which favor the use of educational programs in order to ensure that cases of recidivism are reduced. Substance abuse has been one of the major problems in the prisons due to the fact that it is not as strongly opposed compared to the public prisons. It is one of the reasons that has allowed for the increase of violence and human rights abuse in the private prison institutions. It is a problem that continues to grow due to the increase in the inmates and how they deal with the drug abuse problem.

The complaints list has kept on growing and continues to grow on the horrors that are witnessed by inmates in the private institutions. Reports of rape, the holding of prisoners in situations of solitary confinement for a long period of time, and the only way to get the attention of the guards is the use of fire which is a hazard on its own. Rat infestation has also been seen to be a nightmare for the prisoners and sometime they are even used as pets by some of the mentally ill prisoners. There are also cases of suicide attempts that remain on an all time high due to the neglect of the prisoners by the guards. Due to the lack of proper supervision and leniency on their behalf there are cases of violence and threats in between inmates who find themselves being depressed and stressed due to the continued harsh institutional conditions. In an example, one prisoner in a private prison attempted to commit suicide since his treatment was not taken seriously by the guards and didn’t even receive any

With Donald Trump and his position on immigration being taken seriously, there is a contribution to the benefit among the private institutions as they will be getting more inmates in their facilities. There will be additional funding to these private institutions as they will be holding even more inmates. Trump’s policies support the use of private contractors running the prison systems as they are more cost effective and support efficiency of services through reducing additional costs on the government. It is the only positive impact that the private institutions have on the public prison systems. The American citizens have always demonized prisoners and have not been supporting the public prison systems. These has meant that there are more and more private institutions, which are still not as favorable for use due to the neglect and lack of conservation of the human rights of the inmates which is integral to the prison system.

Works Cited

Craig Harris, “Arizona sheriffs assail costs of private prisons”, Arizona Republic, January 11, 2014.

Kroll, Andy. "This Is How Private Prison Corporations Make Millions Even When Crime Goes down." Mother Jones. N.p., 19 Sept. 2013. Web. 03 Mar. 2015.

Newkirk, Margaret, and William Selway. "Gangs Ruled Prison as For-Profit Model Put Blood on Floor." Bloomberg, 11 July 2013. Web. 07 Mar. 2015.

Schlosser, Eric. "The Prison-Industrial Complex." TheAtlantic. The Atlantic Monthly Group, n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2014.

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