WDW340 March 21 2012.docx

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19 Apr 2012
School
Course
Lecture 9 - March 21
March-21-12
14:13 PM
Privatization
-moral values and ideals; is it right to punish for profit
-whether prisons are effective, cost-efficient
-paying prisoners for working
-not for profit private prisons; similar agencies providing similar community corrections services; often
compete to deliver these services
-governmentalization of the private sector (Moffat); shifting relationship between government and
offenders
-cheapness of running prisons privately; transfer fiscal responsibilities away from the government
-modern management, although these initiatives break the union of correctional operators; union has
less power or union completely taken out
-important argument is not just because it is cheaper overall, it is that in many states there are
budgetary requirements and systems in which it is difficult for them to raise large capital expenditures;
to allow private corporations to build them, the money would not have to come out of the budget and
do not have to be raised or repaid
-state facilities have been strongly criticized that they are unprofessional operations, that they do not
respect all the rights of prisoners, or are not good at eliminating recidivism; if they were regarded as
highly successful institutions, the arguments for privatization would not be as strong
-private institution is also highly flexible; difficult to challenge policy in state institutions
Chan - difficult to assess whether private institutions are cheaper to run than state institutions and
difficult to evaluate the services they deliver
-Ontario built and ran a private prison which was highly criticized; second year of running resulted in big
riot, inmate died of infection suggesting poor standards
-inadequate staffing levels; union made claim that inmates and staff were at risk
-for opponents of privatization, mechanism of accountability is through the election, government
members governing system are accountable
-accountability of contracts not rooted in drive to privatization; able to punish corporations if not
meeting standards etc. drive to privatization was not to secure standards, but to secure prison space,
saving money and human rights aspect are more separate
-some idea that the state ought to be in charge of prisons; whether profit making enterprises should be
involved in this state activity
Sociologies
-liberal pluralists; highly controversial debates, good account of decisions
-Durkheimians; core of repressive punishments, need to feel people are being punished, private sectors
as tougher because of lack of services
-Durkheim tended to see the state, government state, as being the institution that can properly
represent the superiority of the social over the individual
-idea that the state has failed; so private individuals must take over; displacement of the state from the
center of what represents society
-Sociologies of inequality; feminists and anti-racists; linking notion of private enterprise with imprison
could symbolize rejecting the value of the state as representing the value of the people; one of its core
responsibilities; anything works better than the state
-Foucault; abstract connections between developments of economy and systems of government,
government not just done by the state
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