Can Privatized Prisons Work?
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22-08-2016, 06:13 PM (This post was last modified: 22-08-2016 06:47 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Can Privatized Prisons Work?
(22-08-2016 03:40 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  I don't have a firm opinion about privatized prisons. I have heard some arguments against privatized prison and it seems to me the most compelling case against them is a for profit prison business has no incentive to reduce recidivism. If anything, the argument goes, the for profit business has an incentive to increase recidivism.

I don't think increased recidivism is their primary incentive. Once they're out the private prison has no control over what happens next. Their more immediate incentives are against parole and early/work release for good behavior. They are in a position where they can create situations that cause inmates to respond in a manner which makes their sentences longer and parole unlikely. That is a more insidious and efficient method for ensuring and increasing profits than encouraging recidivism. Give them premiums for the sooner a prisoner is released before their original sentence. Give them the difference for what it would've cost for housing them for their original sentence. That would seem to direct their incentives in a more productive manner.

#sigh
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22-08-2016, 06:23 PM
RE: Can Privatized Prisons Work?
What BnW said.

Failing that, if I had to think of a situation where it might work MAYBE if the prisons were paid not on time in prison but were paid a set fee per prisoner based on their sentence.
So if someone was sentenced for 21 years and got out in 18, the prison would still be paid for 21 and wouldn't have incentive to 'make' the prisoner stay in longer.

It however doesn't rid you of the other issues of lobbying.
The simple and best solution to private prisons to get rid of them entirely.

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22-08-2016, 10:27 PM
RE: Can Privatized Prisons Work?
(22-08-2016 06:23 PM)earmuffs Wrote:  What BnW said.

Failing that, if I had to think of a situation where it might work MAYBE if the prisons were paid not on time in prison but were paid a set fee per prisoner based on their sentence.
So if someone was sentenced for 21 years and got out in 18, the prison would still be paid for 21 and wouldn't have incentive to 'make' the prisoner stay in longer.

It however doesn't rid you of the other issues of lobbying.
The simple and best solution to private prisons to get rid of them entirely.

Even that wouldn't work.
Profit trumps everything. Health, safety, etc. Everything is subordinate to the share holders need for profit.

Prisons, like health care, should never be a profit centre.
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22-08-2016, 10:50 PM
RE: Can Privatized Prisons Work?
(22-08-2016 10:27 PM)RogueWarrior Wrote:  ...
Even that wouldn't work.
Profit trumps everything. Health, safety, etc. Everything is subordinate to the share holders need for profit.

Prisons, like health care, should never be a profit centre.

Not quite.

For any business, there's a performance vs. conformance equation.

The regulator's job is to ensure that the cost of non-compliance outweighs the cost of poor performance (for shareholders).

The problem in the US is that the Leviathan has no teeth.

Dodgy

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23-08-2016, 02:08 AM
RE: Can Privatized Prisons Work?
(22-08-2016 05:01 AM)BnW Wrote:  The very idea of people profiting off of incarcerating people should make every American cringe. What's next? Do we outsource our national defense to the highest bidder? And, aside from the moral objections, this type of system is assured to be abused.

Lots of people profit off the misfortune of others and they should if they are providing a valuable service. Rehabilitating people is a valuable service. If a private company can do it better than the state I don't think it is morally wrong to let them.

The problem with current business models is they are centered around incarceration and not rehabilitation.
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23-08-2016, 02:15 AM
RE: Can Privatized Prisons Work?
(23-08-2016 02:08 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Lots of people profit off the misfortune of others and they should if they are providing a valuable service. Rehabilitating people is a valuable service. If a private company can do it better than the state I don't think it is morally wrong to let them.

The problem with current business models is they are centered around incarceration and not rehabilitation.

I agree with you completely on this point; however, the evidence is that the profit motive seems to corrupt this process, to our detriment-- all of us.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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23-08-2016, 02:19 AM
RE: Can Privatized Prisons Work?
(22-08-2016 06:09 AM)DLJ Wrote:  For the metric you suggested, what private prison would take someone who has a life sentence? If they did, I bet there would be more 'fatal accidents'.

In some countries where private prisons are utilized, the prison operator is fined if a death occurs and the coroner doesn't rule it to be from natural causes.

(22-08-2016 06:09 AM)DLJ Wrote:  The 'time spent crime-free' metric would have to be capped not open-ended and that cap might have to be a related to the time spent inside e.g.
A five year sentence ... convict serves 3 years and the prison gets paid for 2; or 4 and 1; or 1 and 4 etc.

It could decrease over time and eventually stop after 10 years or some other arbitrarily set time interval.


(22-08-2016 06:09 AM)DLJ Wrote:  This would encourage the prison to rehabilitate people more quickly but it would also encourage them to release people too soon so a non-profit parole board would have to be the arbitrator.

I wouldn't allow parole at all. Judge sentences some goon to 5 years of prison and he goes to a private rehabilitation center...he spends 5 years there on the private rehabilitation centers dime.

However, I think under such a system the private rehabilitation center would need to agree to take a particular prisoner or be allowed at least some limited number of "without cause" refusals a year...much like in jury selection where a side can dismiss a potential juror for any reason it wants too.
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23-08-2016, 02:24 AM
RE: Can Privatized Prisons Work?
(22-08-2016 09:45 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  Private prisons are obnoxious.

Quote:Would it really be that hard to construct a for profit business model around reduced recidivism? For instance suppose the business bared the entire cost of incarcerating a criminal but was paid by the government for every day the prisoner, after being freed, stayed out of prison. Could such a system work?

I don't think it would work, that would get very expensive.

Publicly operated prisons are already very expensive to operate. Also if it reduces recidivism that saves a lot of money. Society saves on the not bearing the expense of crimes committed by repeat offenders who would not commit them if they had been rehabilitated....not having to bring to trial repeat offenders and such.

The beauty of such a model is it only gets expensive for the state if it actually works.
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23-08-2016, 02:30 AM
RE: Can Privatized Prisons Work?
(23-08-2016 02:15 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  
(23-08-2016 02:08 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Lots of people profit off the misfortune of others and they should if they are providing a valuable service. Rehabilitating people is a valuable service. If a private company can do it better than the state I don't think it is morally wrong to let them.

The problem with current business models is they are centered around incarceration and not rehabilitation.

I agree with you completely on this point; however, the evidence is that the profit motive seems to corrupt this process, to our detriment-- all of us.

That's because the incentives are not aligned.

Two Bedouins were trekking across a desert on their camels to a distant oasis. Bored they started to argue over who's camel was slower. Naturally this lead to them making a bet. Now in order to win the bet, each Bedouin tried to ride his camel as slowly as possible. As they creeped along through the hot scorching desert stubbornly dying of thirst and heat exhaustion, they happened upon a wise old hermit.

The two Bedouins got off their camels and had a discussion with the wise hermit. The wise hermit told them something and they immediately jumped back on to the camels and rode them as hard and fast as they could.

What did the wise hermit tell the Bedouins?
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23-08-2016, 07:17 AM
RE: Can Privatized Prisons Work?
I'm not sure what switching camels has to do with the prison discussion... and I've decided I don't want to know.

This isn't a game. This is human rights violations based on the corruption of American politicians and the lobbyists for the businesses that profit from the Prison Industrial Complex... now including actual prison businesses.

I apologize to myself for trying to interact with you.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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