Furthermore, confinement must meet a constitutional standard of fairness and due process, so it is not just the effectiveness and efficiency, but also the procedural justice with which confinement is imposed that is important. ” Logan goes on to describe confinement as” much more than just warehousing” (Logan 1 990) The goal of confinement should be, instead, to promote the rehabilitation of prisoners and ensure that they are housed in decent and humane conditions. No one is advocating for luxury living for inmates but if occupational skills, education, and safe living are not provided inmates will not rehabilitate.
Logan is among observers of appropriation who contend “it is reasonTABLE and realistic to expect quality from commercially contracted prisons. ” This author, citing the example of appropriation in New Mexico, maintains that appropriation can promote factors necessary for effective prison management. These factors include a well-designed facility, greater operational and administrative flexibility, decentralized authority, higher morale, enthusiasm, and sense of ownership among the staff, greater experience and leadership among the top administrators, and ‘by the book’ provenance of inmates” (1990 Logan).
In understanding why appropriation arose, Pratt and Amahs observed “Until recently, public officials were reluctant to privatized entire correctional institutions. Since the early asses, however, two major development have forced policy makers to reconsider the option of private prison management, the perception of the deteriorating conditions Of public prisoners and, more importantly, prison crowding’ (1 999 Pratt Amahs). Thus, the need for commercial management of prisons arose not only to affect savings but to improve the conditions of confinement.
Louisiana was one of many states which, during the 1 sass, were faced with the problem of prison overcrowding. They tried an experiment, and they built three prisons of similar size and design and housed them with the same type of inmates, one to be managed by the State Department of Public Safety and Corrections, and the other two turned over to private bodies that contracted to provide services. “In effect, the State of Louisiana created a field experimental laboratory for the study privately versus publicly operated prisons,” writes ResearchTABLE.
These reports were also intended to provide information to the Federal Court of Judge Frank Polar, allowing the monitoring of prison safety in Louisiana prisons”. The result of the comparison suggested that private correctional facilities were in fact better than public according to their criteria. Thus, private correctional facilities, as compared with the state prison, were found to be significantly more cost- effective by operating by between 11. 6 to 13. 85% less. Similar differences were found for each fiscal year as when examined separately.
In addition, private facilities were found more satisfactory on the following key factors. They reported fewer critical incidents. They also were reportedly safer for their employees and other staff. In addition to this they also provided better and safer living conditions for their inmates. The Louisiana experiment would indicate that appropriation can work and that inmates can be housed in private facilities at less cost to the taxpayer and can be housed under more humane conditions. Even studies that dispute these claims do not necessarily maintain that public correctional facilities are by their very nature more cost effective.
Pratt and Amahs, for example, cite findings showing that “for both axed level and maximum security prisons, the private institutions had a lower daily per diem cost,” while, “in minimum and medium security institutions, however, the public facilities fared slightly better” (1999 Pratt and Amahs). Concluding that, in both cases, “none of the differences in costs was statistically significant,” these authors maintain that “overall, the results indicate that regardless of the owner of the facility, it is the economy of scale achieved by the prisons, its age, and its security level that largely determine its daily per diem cost”.
Thus, while the literature makes strong arguments or appropriation it also makes as many that claim it not to really bear a significant difference at all. Division is mainly between studies that find significant advantages to appropriation and those that find no significant differences between public and private facilities. The implication of this finding is that some appropriation programs are succeeding. It has also been found that there isn’t really any difference at all. Over all our prisons continue to over populate and Private Correctional facilities will be utilized and they are here to say.