• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

A private prison is a correctional facility where offenders are physically confined by a third-party private operator, who is contracted by a government entity. Today, private prisons confine nearly 9% of the 2.3 million people incarcerated in the United States. This entry reviews the history and rise of private prisons and then discusses the pros and cons as well as the privacy and security implications associated with private prisons.

History

Although the original concept of prison privatization in the United States dates back to more than 150 years with the establishment of San Quentin in 1852, very few privately operated correctional facilities existed until the 1980s. The creation of the modern-day private prison industry coincided with the establishment of the nation’s “war on drugs” and the implementation ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles