As someone who has worked in both the government and private side of corrections I can tell you that both have the same issues. Short staffed, Not enough pay, Staff assaults, Not enough programs etc. . . The people who claim that companies like Corecivic or The Geo Group want mass incarceration to make money is insane. That's not how the justice system works, The courts are who is responsible for sentences not prisons. These private companies cannot sentence anyone nor can they even charge someone and give them more time. Only a judge can do that. These companies simply offer to house the offenders while they are incarcerated.
I think private prisons should be legal. I can see no reason why a prison run by the private sector should be any worse then one run by the state. In fact they could end up cheaper, through competition, and they could have higher standards, as any lapse would be punished by their contract not being renewed.
I think private prisons need to be held to Federal Standards for safe and reasonable treatment of the prisoners that they house but I believe overall there is no problem with private prisons existing, I think private prisons take some of the pressure off the Government from having to maintain even more then they can handle in the Justice System.
The power to imprison citizens, to take away their freedom, is one of the most grave and important powers a government possesses. By giving this power over to private industry, the government is washing its hands of a serious responsibility. Private operators do not have to follow the same guidelines and rules as public institutions, and they don't operate in the public interest but rather in the interests of generating profit.
It is not ethical to force someone to work. That is slavery. It is not ethical to deny a prisoner medical help (which CoreCivic has done multiple times) if you want to become aware of the horrors of the private prison system I recommend the book "American Prison" by Shane Bauer.
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You should not be earning money off prisoners. This is exactly what private prisons are doing. The government does it for the greater good and does not care as much about he money income. This also means that private prisons need to sustain themselves with the money they receive. If their income is low, They will have to lower their employees wages and the prisoners living conditions will get worse.
There are many problems associated with for profit prisons such as costs hidden from the public such as transportation costs, Hardship to families when their incarcerated relatives are sent to another state and the easy access to drugs and other contraband introduced by underpaid and undertrained staff. What has not been mentioned is the prevalence of no-bid contracts given to these businesses due to the work of highly paid lobbyists.
No, private prisons should not be legal. Prisons are a necessary institution and one that should be run by the government as the incentives for corruption are highest when privatized. At a cost to the taxpayers, society would do best to minimize the number of prison population through education and programs for offenders, where as the private owners of a prison would make more profit with larger prison populations, providing incentive for supporting tougher sentences, mandatory sentencing, and harsher punishments for light offenses.
The single biggest problem with private prisons is that there should not be a profit made off of other's involuntary work. It causes problems in the rehabilition of the prisoner's and also brings up the ethcial issues of using a human life as a figure in finances, it's not moral or ehtical.
Prisons are a necessary institution and one that should be run by the government as the incentives for corruption are highest when privatized. At a cost to the taxpayers, society would do best to minimize the number of prison population through education and programs for offenders, where as the private owners of a prison would make more profit with larger prison populations, providing incentive for supporting tougher sentences, mandatory sentencing, and harsher punishments for light offenses.