Public VS Private Prisons Pros Cons Complete Fact Sheet – By CJ

Criminal Justice Journal

Public VS Private Prisons Pros Cons Complete Fact Sheet

Prisons have never been an ideal place for anyone, but they are still an excellent instrument for peaceful society regulation. There are two different types of prisons, Public prisons, and private prisons. This article will explore the differences between , Public VS Private Prisons Pros Cons, and their source of funding.

Private Prisons VS Public Prisons

Do you know the total number of Prisoners in the United States? Approximately there are 1.6 million prisoners in the United States. That’s so huge a number. During the war against drugs, the number of prisoners in the United States increased so much that it had become challenging for the governments to control and regulate prisons’ affairs.

It was this time when the government started to think of privatizing the prisons. The government reached out to private organizations and asked them to collaborate with the government in establishing the prisons.

So, private prisons evolved during the 1980s and became more popular among the government authorities when they observed that private prisons are less costly than public prisons. Upon this observation, the government started to privatize more prisons, and the idea of private prisons took birth.

The private organizations saw this as a business opportunity, thereby expanding their businesses through managing and regulating private prisons.

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What Are Public Prisons? – Are Prisons Nonprofit

Public prisons are being operated by federal, state, and local government agencies on taxpayers’ money. Before the idea of private prisons became public in the 1980s, all the prisons were operated by the government

The government regulating the prison has complete control over who is being sent to jail, for how long the person will have to stay there and in which cell he/she is going to be kept. In short, the government has decided the fate of prisoners being sent to Public prisons.

Since all the public prisons are being run through taxpayers’ money, the government is answerable to the public about the expenditures being spent on these jails. For maintaining financial transparency, the governments are regularly publishing the financial sheets of public prisons.

What Are Private Prisons?

On the other hand, private prisons are owned and operated by third parties, and the government pays them for each prisoner. The administration of private prisoners receives a set amount for every prisoner they are keeping. All the facilities being provided to the prisoners, such as food, healthcare, and shelter, are covered in this set amount, and this is how private prisons are funded.

Private prisons in the United States are mainly located in the southern and western parts of the United States, and mostly, the State and federal level prisoners are kept in the private prisons.

The administration of private prisons is utterly independent in deciding whether to accept a prisoner or not. Most of the time, prisoners with severe health conditions or conditions requiring a higher amount of money to be spent on them are rejected by private prisons.

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The Difference In The Security Of Public VS Private Prisons

When it comes to the security of both types of prisons, one might think that private prisons are safer than public prisons; however it is not the case, researches show that private prisons are less secure than the federal prisons.

The incidents of violence against private prisons guards were 49% more than that of public prisons. The reason behind this could be that the guards in private prisons are less trained as compared to the guards in public prisons.

Secondly, the inmate on inmate violence in private prisons is 65 % more than that in public prisons. Both these statistics show that the public prisons have more security as compared to private prisons. This can be one of the cons of public prisons.

The Difference In Isolation Of Public Prisons VS Private Prisons

Isolation or confinement is done when there are chances that other inmates will harm either the prisoner or when there is a fear that other prisoners will harm him. The isolation of public prisoners is much more transparent than in private prisons. As we have already discussed, public prisons are bound to release the information to the public; therefore, there is much more financial transparency.

According to a statement, 67,442 prisoners were being kept in isolation at public prisons. The main problem with private prisons is that they are not bound to release any such information; therefore, it becomes problematic to compare private and public prisons.

There are high chances that isolation can be misused. For example, if a private prison has kept a prisoner in an isolation facility and provides him every luxury of a life without the government’s consent, it is a big misused of the provision of isolation.

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The Difference In Cost Of Public Prison VS Private Prison

How do you calculate the cost of a prison facility? Seems easy, you will have to collect an extensive database and extract the finance sheet and compare them both, but it is not the case in reality. Many structural problems make the comparison difficult.

The structural problems that make it difficult to compare the cost are:

· Non-bonding on the private sector to share the information

· Variation in the characteristics of the prisons

· Treatment programs that are going on.

As we discussed in the earlier parts of the article, the private prisons are not bound to share information with the general public because they are not directly being run on the taxpayers’ money. Although some information is being released through a third party and its authenticity is questionable.

Secondly, there are many factors due to which the comparison of cost cannot be made, for example, the size of the prisons, the number of pollution living in the prisons, and the prisons’ health expenditures. All these factors are different for each prison; therefore, it would be unjust to draw a comparison among the correctional facilities.

The last point that makes the comparison difficult is that different treatment programs are going on in every correctional facility, requiring a budget to be spent. This budget will be in addition to the total expenditure and will not be paid in a prison where no such program is going on.

But one thing is for sure: private prisons will be less costly than the public prisons have not succeeded. According to the subject’s experts, the government launched the private prisons facility to release the burden on government facilitation centers and cut off the financial expenditures. Still, it has failed as far as the finances are concerned.

How Are Private Prisons Funded

The only benefit that governments have from this privatization is that their prisons are no more overcrowded and burdened. On the other hand, private organizations have found numerous ways to make money out of this privatization. For example:

· Giving fewer wedges to the staff members

· They provide low-quality standards to the inmates such as low-quality food and inadequate health facilities

· Taking more grants for different programs investing less in them.

· Investing less in the security of the prisons.

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Private Prisons vs Public Prisons Statistics

Demographic, Custody And Sentencing Statistics Public Prisons vs Private Prisons

In this section of the article, you will read exciting statistics about public prisons and private prisons.

· The private prisons are reported to have more female inmates than the public sector and the age of inmates at the time of admission in both the types of prisons were thirty

· The private prisons keep 21% fewer inmates in maximum security level and 15% more in medium-security than public prisons. This could be that private prisons do not want more money to be spent on the prisoners’ security.

· The average time spent by an inmate in the private prison is lesser than in public prison. An inmate spends 11 months in the private prison compared to 28 months in the public prison

· The private sector operated at 82% of its capacity, while the public sector worked at 113% of its total capacity.

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Salaries, Training Levels, Staffing Ratios and Turnover Rates Private prisons Vs Public prisons – 

· The salaries being offered to the new correctional officer in the Private sector were $5,327 less than that provided to the correctional officers in the public sector.

· Despite the lesser payouts, the public sectors required the correctional officer to complete more hours of training before working on their jobs. The total difference between the training of correctional officers was 58 hours.

· Turnover is the number of officers leaving a facility in a particular year. According to published research, the turnover for the public sector prisons was 43% compared to that of the public sector which was 15%

· The inmates to staff ratio (3.7 inmates per staff member) in the private sector were more than that in the public sector (3.1 inmates per team member). This means that there are more staff members for every inmate in the private sector than that in the public sector.

· The incidents of violence among the inmates and with the staff members were twice in the private sector compared to that in the public sector, which means that the situation in the private sector is worse, and they cannot be considered safer.

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Drug Treatment private prisons Vs Public prisons

Different drug treatment programs are going on in every correctional facility. Mainly, these programs cover counseling, group therapy, and specialized drug addiction programs. According to the statistics, 28 percent of the private sector prisons attend the drug treatment program.

On the other hand, if we talk about public sector prisons, the percentage of inmates attending the drug treatment program is 14 %.

This shows that the number of drug addicts attending the program in private prisons is double the number of people attending the public sector prisons’ treatment programs.

Inmate Wages Private prisons vs Public prisons

Daily wages are being paid to the prisoners for the work they do in the prisons. According to research, the regular pay for the non-industrial work in the private sector prison was $1.09 to $2.75 for 6.5 hours per day

On the other hand, the public sector prisons paid $0.99 to $3.13 for 6 hours of non-industrial work per day.

The figures do not indicate significant differences, but the minimum payout of the public prisons was lesser than that of private prisons.

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The United States has the most number of prisoners locked in prisons, both in public and private sectors. Each type of prison, public, and private run differently and has its pros and cons.

 This extensive system of prisons is being run on the taxpayers’ money. According to an estimate, each taxpayer in the United States is paying $250 per year for the smooth running of prisons.

This makes them an expensive venture which will be facilitated throughout the year by the public. The Criminal justice system of the country needs to improve to have fewer criminals and less expenditure on the prisons. 

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Pros and Cons of Private Prisons

There are a few pros and cons to private prisons. One of the main advantages of private prisons is that they can be operated more efficiently and cost-effectively than government-run prisons. This is because private prisons are run by companies that are motivated by profit and may be able to find ways to cut costs without sacrificing safety. Private prisons may also be able to offer more programs and services to inmates, such as job training and education, which can help reduce recidivism.

On the other hand, there are also several disadvantages to private prisons. One of the main concerns is that private prisons are motivated by profit, which can create an incentive to cut corners and skimp on essential services. This can lead to overcrowding, understaffing, and poor conditions for inmates. Private prisons may also be less accountable than government-run facilities, making it challenging to ensure inmates’ rights are respected. Additionally, private prisons have been criticized for lobbying for harsher criminal justice policies to increase the number of inmates and their profits.

Pros and Cons of Public Prisons

There are a few reasons why some people believe that public prisons are better than private prisons. One of the main reasons is that public prisons are operated and funded by the government, which means they are accountable to the public. This means that more checks and balances are in place to ensure that public prisons meet specific standards for staffing, conditions, and programs. Additionally, because public prisons are not motivated by profit, they do not have the same incentives to cut corners or skimp on essential services. This can help inmates in public prisons receive the support and services they need. Finally, public prisons are generally required to meet higher standards than private prisons, which can help improve inmates’ conditions.

There are a few reasons why people believe that public prisons are not necessarily better than private prisons. One of the main reasons is that public prisons are funded by taxpayers, which can make them expensive to operate. Public prisons may also suffer from overcrowding, as they cannot turn inmates away. This can lead to poor conditions and limited resources for programs and services. Furthermore, private prisons can be more efficient than public prisons, as they are motivated by profit and may be able to find ways to cut costs without sacrificing safety. Finally, private prisons may offer more programs and services to inmates, which can help reduce recidivism.

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