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University of Toronto St. George
Woodsworth College Courses
William Watson

Privatization November 13  First part, privatization of prisons  second part, various things that are designed to limit imprisonment: parole, policies to avoid incarceration, and alternative forms of punishments  In many ways, the privation is off the agenda in Canada  it is the US and UK though  its been about 30 years where the idea of privatization has grown rapidly  basic issues to not do with being able to purchase prison services  talking about govern’t administer of sentencing  talking about govn’t paying for punishment that are delivered by non-private courts, and the private entity doing the punishments  other area of privatization: private companies acting within prisons; making prisoners make the products  make money out of it  in the last 30 years, has made a comeback (the idea of making a private profit—actual enterprises)  most of these things have happened in Canada  we have to remember, we often think that private enterprises being a fundamentally new concept  there has been a long history of private enterprises being involved in programs  they are normally private, not-for profit  include John Howard, Elizabeth Fry society  restorative justice is normally private enterprise, and not-for-profit (deliver x services for x number of dollars; running as businesses)  just as state corrections, individuals make a living out of it  some people have argued the no-for-profits are in a conflict of interest; advocates and punishment  the idea of privately delivered correction services is the new development (the selling of uniforms, security, special building equipment are all things that have no been produced by the state, but are purchased by the state—there have been many profits in punishment all along!)  the reading by Chang: identifies the core dilemmas and framed in a certain way  1. sometimes hard to identify what people are referring to when talking about privatization, but generally private paid for by tax payers  2. use for n-f-p can be seen as the state not doing something they were doing before, and people we drawn in to operating under the state  3. if you get to core, the privates are drawn into ideas of govn’t, and new ways for profits to be generated  Over-crowding and cost: there were lots of situations of over crowding  in the US and Uk, imprisonment rates were rising  ran out of prison space  often, corrections have been criticized for not spending enough on corrections  on top of general pressures, what really turned the corner was the number of prisoners who got civil rights litigations by overcrowding  in the US, the powers are absolute; not like Canada where things can be saved under s. 1; in the US, if your rights violated, then that’s that  Already felt that as a matter of legal principle, trying to avoid incarcerating people  why is it then that it opens the door to privately constructed and run prisons?  if state gonv’t can’t general funds to build, it can generate income to pay for imprisonment, which a private entity can judge they can run by raising money to pay for the prison  the state can afford to pay so much per prisoners  the private company can build capital, then make a profit on running the services  it was the inability of the places states can’t raise private equality lead to privatization  arguments about inefficiency  privates could be cheaper because they are more efficient  but is this true?  argument about how they are run  prison staff and state prisons had certain rights through unions  the conditions were less though, and unions demolished in privatization—breaking of the unions  states didn't think they could take on the union themselves, so hire the private corps  one of the weakness of state to resists priv. some of the things people try and claim isn’t’ convincing  don’t have great histories  what tends to happen in private alternatives, those advocating state over sell what they’ve been doing  privi. over sell what they can do  Chan: its hard to work out whether private is cheaper  in most situations, private don’t take all of the prisoners  they only take serious, but not the most serious  avoid prisoners with mental health needs  also difficult to know about standards, if they are preforming constitutional standards  the less tangible, the harder it is to know  how do you evaluate things like relationships within prisons, etc.  no one is sure you can show the differences, or whether one is better than the other  often, the goal posts get shifted once the prisoners are opened  Ontario, had its own flirtation with private prison  Central North (in penetang.)  run from 2001-2006  had a spotty career  there was a 100 men riot  an inmate died of infection  2 financial advisors were convicted of fraud charges  2004, Peter Kormas, found a memo about staffing problems; inadequate staff  There is debate about accountability  both sides over sell their positions  private supports: you can make them accountable  state is in charge via contract  financial clawbakcs  you can’t make a profit unless you follow clauses  according to this model, you have financial penalties to ensure accountability  govn’t and parliament are responsible. When it comes to that, they can divest themselves of responsibly: they set conditions; not holding the govn’t accountable for what goes wrong in the system  problems with this: govn't get to do that already  not obvious that politicians in office, in the range of issues in elections, because while his party in power, someone died. .  hard to make normal mechanisms of prisons to hold people accountable; even harder for private.  While its true that politicians think there is advantage to them talking about tough on crime  not obvious that there is a price to pay if crime is rising  rising crime not associated with politicians  but they are held accountable if not reductions in crime  in current leg., there is controversy over current spending plans  Priv. of punishment is a symbolic issue  many people feel strongly about the idea of private. that isn’t just down to what the facts are  what priv. looks like from the soc of punishment!  liberal pluralists: these issues are very public  they insist any account must understand this process and follow them through  Durkheim: important—you could argue that private gestures have emphasized being very tough  set up cheaper warehousing things, prisoners don’t deserve any better  they might say that some of this rhetoric is related to the need for people to be punished  problem: there is no doubt that you can't emphasis enough how in modern society, if punishment is ritual, it has to be the state that does it!  the state is the central organizing mechanism for this sense of society  fundamental idea that the most important rituals is more the sentence; thus the state symbolists the power over the individual  if this the case, then something unsatisfactory from privatization for this view point  we need to remember to locate the privatization of prisons with changes in politics and society  in the US, there is distrust of state, the state can’t organize anything they are bound to fail, are too intrusive and incompetent; union too big and powerful  if durk. model that the society has to show its self of punishing, maybe the fact that the state is no longer the only thing that can do that is a profound change  Marxist: ideological battle  marketization of everything  if we see that model, the state is bad, it should be as small as possible  that ideological model can see that taking on the prison system would be worth doing finically and ideologically  direct economic interest, how states make money  and the idea that the state can't do anything well  Foucault: privatization—bring other things into the gonv’t  you can talk about the way in which we have moved from other ideas of punishment, and how relates to privatization  they talk about the role of non-state agencies  they aren’t interested in the economy  aren’t likely to see things as economically driven  at the core of privatization: real finical problems of the state, have various constitution requirements about money and building prisons  Now, parole!  the idea of less imprisonment  don't use prison more than we have to!  there is often a rhetoric of imprisonment—we need more punishment, stand up to crime  there are constant efforts to use less imprisonment  long standing issue about avoiding imprisonment  Canada does a fair bit of imprisonment (higher than US, about the same as UK, higher than European countries)  efforts to make less of it  people often target parole a great deal—people get parole; not truth in sentencing (effo
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