Capitalism drives America’s economy. It relies on the ambitions, dreams, and hard work of its citizens in the free market. Capitalism gives the individual an incentive to work hard because of private ownership. But how far can capitalism be implemented?

In the United States, the number of private prisons have increased over the past few decades:

“Nationally,” Ms Khimm notes, “there’s been a similar surge in private prison construction as the inmate population has tripled between 1987 and 2007: Inmates in private prisons now account for 9% of the total US prison population, up from 6% in 2000.”

Private prisons have increased because they provide relief to the public correctional facilities. In states like California, where it costs as much $47,000 per year in upkeep per prisoner every year, private prisons can save the taxpayers as much as $120 million dollars a year according to a research conducted by Reason Foundation-Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Foundation.

Personally, I think it is an interesting ethical situation anytime the law is put into private hands. In 2010, the largest private prison company, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), made $1.7 billion in revenue. With so much money on the table, it is a little concerning when there are stories of private prisons failing because they did not secure contracts for inmates with the state or federal governments. How much of an influence might private prisons have on the government and law?


3 responses »

  1. […] Exploring Capitalism: Private Prisons ( […]

  2. marko987 says:

    First of all, I was astonished by the cost associated with the upkeep per prisoner. 47,000 annual cost to keep someone in prison? The real median earnings of men who worked full time, year-round in 2007 was $45,113 (numbers before recession); the real medium earnings for women was $35,102. That means that a single prisoner incur higher cost annually than the average American worker can generate income. I think that we need to find a way to reduce these costs in order for prison system to be economical and efficient. If private prisons indeed save 120 million taxpayers dollars, it is almost expected of them not to provide the same quality service. I would not consider individual cases of private prisons failure alarming concern, as long as they justify the significant reduce in prisoners upkeep.

  3. […] Exploring Capitalism: Private Prisons ( […]

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