Private prisons are not a new concept in the United States. They have existed in several forms since the eighteenth century. The opening chapters evaluate historical cases of prisons for profit, examining the concerns of labor, abuses of inmates, and the source and resolution of disputes between private and public sectors. These chapters argue that the experience gained through privatization does not justify current opposition from civil libertarians or labor unions.
Chapters dealing with the modern contracting out of complete management and limited services document the growing trend toward privatization and instances of public/private partnership in prison industries.
The assembled evidence indicates clearly that privately run prisons have shown significant cost savings and good quality of provision for prisoners while still being profitable. However, the authors caution that these promising results must be reinforced by public safeguards in the contracting stage and monitoring to assure good service and security. With the American prison system in disarray, the public interest demands that government look beyond the public or private identity of those who wish to provide correctional services and focus instead on who can provide the best services at a given cost. It is essential to state that correctional services should attain several objectives and not merely cost minimization. The analysis and recommendations presented here will aid in the task. "Privatizing Correctional Institutions "will be of interest to law-enforcement officials, public policy analysts, penologists, and criminologists.
Bondeson thoroughly researches the history of alternative treatments, the genesis of the Swedish Penal Code, and the goals of criminal policy. She further examines the implementation of the sanctions by the courts, probation officers, lay supervisors, institutional staff, and how treatment is perceived by offenders throughout the process. Bondeson's extraordinary work also includes a recidivism study demonstrating considerable and surprising differences among rates of relapse, even when controlling for risk groups. She finds that those sentenced to conditional prison sentences had the lowest rates of criminal relapse. Those on probation had higher rates of relapse, while a combination of probation and institutional approaches had the highest rates. The author shows that despite the legislator's intent to improve the possibilities for re-socialization, principally the opposite result ensued. However, compared with the results of treatment in correctional institutions, the alternatives to imprisonment prove much more effective and less costly. Based on her findings, Bondeson makes a considerable number of practical suggestions for effective reform of penal law and treatment of offenders. Many of her proposals have also been subsequently implemented.
Contrary to the frequency claims of excessive leniency on the part of judges that are often asserted by journalists and shapers of opinions, Rossi and Berk find strong correspondence between the median sentences deemed appropriate by the public and the sentences prescribed by the guidelines. Although the authors conclude that the Commission was able to match prescribed punishments closely to the American consensus for most crimes, in one category -- drug trafficking offenses -- the guidelines were much harsher in dealing with offenders.
The national survey used a factorial survey as its design strategy, allowing for analysis of a large variety of federal crimes and variations in the social characteristics of convicted felons. A wealth of detail, along with ample graphic and tabular illustrations, extends the book's application to issues of consensus and variations in punitiveness by region and socioeconomic characteristics of respondents.
This work takes a historical look at women and the death penalty in the United States from 1900 to 1998. It gives the reader a look at the penal codes in the various states regarding the death penalty and the personal stories of women who have been executed or who are currently on death row. As Americans continue to debate the enforcement of the death penalty, the issues of race and gender as they relate to the death penalty are also debated. This book offers a unique perspective to a recurring sociopolitical issue.
DeRosia presents a thematic analysis of in-depth, focused interviews with both subsamples, as well as vignettes based upon those interviews. Her findings reveal that advantaged offenders hold a perspective on doing time, including prescriptions for avoiding trouble, and make conscious efforts to avoid trouble by using time beneficially. This study contains the most current statistics available on corrections in the U.S., including its organization, the overcrowding crisis, and prisoner profiles. The nature of life in prison and prior research on adjustment are also examined.