History in American justice systems






Article Critique Three






Although prison privatization trends have a long history in the American justice systems, numerous debates regarding its merits and demerits have intensified in the recent past. It is postulated that a total of 158 private correctional facilities operate within 30 states of the United States of America. Consequently, most of these private prisons are located in the Western and Southern parts of the United States. Therefore, this article’s objectives would be to debate the pros and cons of the prevalent privatized correctional facilities compared to the public corrections. Additionally, this article seeks to advance a critique of some existing research works regarding this topic to point out some of the strengths and weaknesses. The critique would be based on two previously done research works advocating and opposing the privatization of prisons. By so doing, the article would highlight some of the unanswered concerns regarding the privatization of correctional facilities within the United States. The conclusion of the work would highlight opportunities that may advance prison privatization debates and research. Comment by Dr. Jade Pumphrey: ABI










Article Critique on Prison Privatization

One of the demanding challenges that plague and informs prison privatization is overcrowding. It is argued that the number of offenders under control and jurisdiction has doubled over the past two decades in the United States. Therefore, this increase in the prison population has called for developing alternative privatized forms of correctional facilities. However, debates and research works have been advanced to provide highlights on the appropriateness and mishaps of privatizing prison systems. Critique of two scholarly articles presents arguments advocating for prison privatization, and the second one presenting arguments against the privatization. To point out arguments advocating prison privatization, a critique of Driving Influences and Performance Evaluation by Carla Schultz give insights on the weakness and strengths of privatization. Consequently, a critique of Emerging Issues on Privatized Prisons by James Austin represents opposing arguments towards prisons’ privatization. Comment by Dr. Jade Pumphrey: Titles of articles in the text will be capitalized, surrounded by ” ” marks and written in Title Case; not italicized

Article 1- Prison Privatization: Driving Influences and Performance Evaluation

In this article, the author depicts prison privatization within the United States as a widely debated aspect. In a strong belief towards prison privatization, economists, social scientists, and criminologists have been pointed as determinants of privatization and possible privatization consequences. In the first section of the article, the author investigates both the economic and political aspects that push for prison privatization. In this perspective, the article points out neoliberalism, conservatism, and ethical moneymaking from incarcerated individuals as determinant factors. In the second section, the author brings out the effectiveness of prison privatization in terms of inmate rights, recidivism, quality of confinement, and the costs involved in setting up these facilities. The author devotes policy implications in the last section and provides a roadmap to justice systems regarding prison privatization.

According to Schultz (2015), historical political and economic influences have caused privatization interventions in American criminal justice. For instance, the author states that tough economic times promoted welfare policies where conservatism and neoliberalism were practiced. Neoliberalism defines an economic philosophy where deregulation, minimal government involvement, and privatization aspects are promoted (Schultz, 2015). The implications therein made policymakers to shift costs of social service institutions like prisons onto privatized entities rather than state-owned. Privatization has been assumed to encourage competition, reduce costs, and improve service quality by collaborating government, justice experts, as well as politicians.


In the article, the author points out ethical issues and the quality of confinement as the obvious reasons for contracting criminal systems out to private management. Owing to the lucrative nature of the justice systems, ethical issues and inmate rights often get ignored and overlooked in terms of quality of confinement. The article starts by demystifying arguments that private corporations cannot adequately manage state services. As prisons are regarded as inherent public entities that can only be efficient when managed by state officials, private entities can relinquish housing and supervision responsibilities. According to Schultz (2015), private prisons offer back up to overcrowded state prisons by placing bids to accept mates. Because of these factors, private prisons are capable of experience to enable them to push ethical boundaries. Consequently, the article points out that private prisons also afford fundamental inmate and defendant rights as stipulated in the constitutional amendments. Conditions and care factors complement each other to successfully implement quality confinement dimensions through proper diet, sanitation, and adequate healthcare.


According to the author, there are two policy implications avenues regarding the current future of prison privatization, and these are discussed as either reforming it or abolishing it. However, the author fails to show how prison privatization reforms would be in the future. Rather than asking for what can be operated and offered differently, the article concentrates on cheaper and better private institutions that would provide more rehabilitative and treatments. The benefits of focusing on these rehabilitative privatized prison models would only legitimize the thinking of neoliberalism and capitalism (Schultz, 2015). Reforming the privatization of prison for future circumstances, according to the article standards, could alternatively be substituted by the privatization abolishment altogether.

Article 2- Emerging Issues on Privatized Prisons

In the article, the author, James Ashcroft, points out the 1998 Federal Activities Inventory Reform (FAIR) Act as the basis of arguing against the privatization of prisons. The article regards prisons as an inherent governmental social facility operated by government officials, and private contractors may run only their commercial aspects. As Ashcroft (2016) pointed out, the FAIR statute bears great implications regarding the legality of the privately operated prisons. This implies that these social facilities cannot be separated from governmental functions both under the exercise of discretion and nature of the functionality. Based on the degree of discretion, the author states that philosophical ideas regarding the nature of imprisonment override privatization interests that are merely based on accountability, behavior, and outcome mechanisms. Consequently, based on the nature of functionality, the article reflects how wrong it is to privatize certain inherent government functions due to the underlying moral fundamentals. The Christian perspective concurs with the philosophical ideas of criminal justice that advocate humanity in terms of medications, care, and mental health.


The efficiency of a social facility like federal prison can be gauged depending on their performance. The article points out how the effectiveness of privatization be done based on recidivism and financial costs. The article brings out the inefficiencies in privatized prisons through recidivism by claiming that inmates released from private prisons were still likely to commit serious criminal offenses. Additionally, one of the founding principles for the privatization of prisons is the potential of reducing costs and save the taxpayer some dollars (Ashcroft, 2016). The article states that despite saving the overcrowding in the federal public prisons, privatization of prisons does not offer any financial relief as the taxpayers are still required to pay operational costs.


The article fails to clarify what happens in the legality of prison privatization if these facilities’ operations meet the tests on the exercise of discretion and the nature of the function. Therefore, privatized prisons would be unlikely to develop strong markets in high-security inmate populations due to the great scrutinizes and resistance they face from both the state and federal correctional institutions (Ashcroft, 2016).

Summary Comment by Dr. Jade Pumphrey: centered; Keep the heading written as I show in the template

In Schultz’s (2015) assertions, privatization of prisons can be addressed as a multi-faceted idea that has been influenced by both the doctrines of neoliberalism and conservative policies to create their market niche. On the other hand, Ashcroft (2016) depicts prison privatization as failed attempts to improve quality, reduce costs, and alleviate overcrowding within federal and state prisons, leaving the future of privatization to face either abolition or reformation.


Despite the shortcomings of prison privatization, private prions’ functions remain relevant within the justice system. It can be agreed that privatized prisons have not kept their missions of advancing prison effectiveness; privatization still holds its mere significant impacts on traditional prisons. In the context of the Christian worldview, it can be acknowledged that privatization has caused the public prisons to reexamine how to deal with humanity by incorporating public-private partnerships.





Schultz, C. (2015). Prison privatization: Driving influences and performance evaluation. Themis: Research Journal of Justice Studies and Forensic Science, 3(1), 5.

Ashcroft, J. (2016). Emerging Issues on Privatized Prisons. http://biblioteca.cejamericas.org/bitstream/handle/2015/1945/Emerging_Issues_Privatized_Prisons.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y Comment by Dr. Jade Pumphrey: this is a monograph and not a peer-reviewed journal article – please revise and replace all content for this article

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