private prison | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Introduction / Corrections

A private prison is a facility owned and operated by a private company rather than the government.


Government agencies contract these facilities to hold individuals who have been convicted of crimes, typically at the state or federal level. The private companies that operate these facilities are paid a per-diem or per-inmate rate to cover the costs of housing, feeding, and providing medical care for the inmates. Critics of private prisons argue that they are incentivized to cut costs and prioritize profits over the well-being of inmates. In contrast, supporters argue they can be more efficient and cost-effective than government-run facilities.


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Last Modified: 01/12/2023

 

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