MORAL ISSUES WITH PRIVATELY RUN PRISONS

1.) My topic is the moral issues that arise from privatization of prisons. Private run prisons make money by locking people up, and the rate of income such organizations earn is proportional to the number of convicts and their duration in there. These prisons have moral issues as they fail to provide the same quality of correctional programs as federal ran prisons. In-mates safety and security is not prioritized as the organization’s key objective is to generate income. As a result of these when people come out from private ran prisons they are not entirely reformed but instead they become worse off than they initially were (K. C. Carceral and Thomas J. Bernard, Prison, Inc.: A Convict Exposes Life Inside a Private Prison, 2015).

2.) The issue of the mass incarceration may be associated with the privatization of prisons. The United States has noted a steady growth in the rate of crime in this century. This maybe because people are no longer threatened that much with being sentenced to the private prisons. The issue is crucial and should be addressed so as to make America a safe place to live in comfortably (Zapotosky and Harlan, “Justice Department Says It Will End Use of Private Prisons – The Washington Post.”). Features of the modern theory of punishment should be made distinct from justifying punishment. The definition of punishment should be neutral and not incorporating customs that explain whatever falls under the definition itself. Deontological theory of punishment should be neglected as it fails to explain what is unfair about mass incarceration.

3.) Evidence that supports that private run prisons have moral issues is America imprisoning more people both in absolute terms and per capita than any other country in the world. In the last half century has increased explosively, driven by criminal laws that impose steep sentences. With this catastrophe on the rise leading private prison companies have admitted that their business model relies on high rates of incarceration. Therefore as crime rate increase the private prison industry grows exponentially (Alfred C. Aman, Jr, “Private prisons and the democratic deficit,” Private Security, Public Order, 2009). Having too many convicts in private prisons tends to break the criminal justice system. It is likely that some people will be imprisoned without adequate evidence for that or be sentenced for a long duration than it might be anticipated. When such people are kept in an environment of criminals, they end up being crooks when they finish serving their sentences.

4.) Those for private run prison are likely to be of the idea that by the government transitioning this service to the private sector it will be cutting on cost. The money that would have been spent by the local government in paying workers in federal-run prisons will now be channeled into other social projects.  Additionally, private prisons radically aid in controlling overcrowding in the federal prison system. They accommodate any overflow that the state-run prisons could not take in. Opponents to my position may also claim that privatization of prisons brings in competition in the industry which entices these prisons to uphold on security and quality correctional programs for their inmates.

 5.) In response to the above claims, the issue of overcrowding can be sort out by the state building up more high capacitated prisons.  Since private run prisons will always want to maximize their profit, certainly corruption will be on the rise between owners and employees. In extreme case judges might even be bribed to sentence more people to imprisonment so as to make more money for the owners, therefore, in the long run, more ethics will be violated  (Kelly Cheeseman, Everyday Ethics for the Criminal Justice Professional (Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press, 2011)). The government should initiate a body whose duty is to be regulating the quality and performance of federal run prisons. This has the same effect in the industry as those there were competitors.

Bibliography

Aman, Jr, Alfred C. “Private prisons and the democratic deficit.” Private Security, Public Order, 2009, 86-106. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199574124.003.0005.

Carceral, K. C., and Thomas J. Bernard. Prison, Inc.: A Convict Exposes Life Inside a Private Prison. New York: NYU Press, 2005. http://public.eblib.com/choice/publicfullrecord.aspx?p=865879.

Cheeseman, Kelly. Everyday Ethics for the Criminal Justice Professional. Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press, 2011.

Zapotosky, Matt, and Chico Harlan. “Justice Department Says It Will End Use of Private Prisons – The Washington Post.” Washington Post. Last modified August 16, 2016. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/08/18/justice-department-says-it-will-end-use-of-private-prisons/?utm_term=.cefd68aefd5c.

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