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Cashing in on Crime: The Drive to Privatize California State Prisons

NCJ Number
Karyl Kicenski
Date Published
208 pages
This book examines efforts in California to privatize State prisons.
The main focus of the book is to explore the role that political and economic factors play in privatization efforts. The author also examines how changes in public attitudes towards crime and governance have impacted these efforts and shifted criminal justice policies. The author presents his arguments in seven chapters. The first chapter presents an overview of the emergence of private prisons. The second chapter, Transformations of the Prison Landscape, focuses on the history of the present state of economic, political, and cultural conditions that have led to changes in the current U.S. penological landscape. The third chapter examines the economic system in California and its relation to the rise of privatization efforts. The fourth chapter analyzes the impact of California's social and political systems on the State's criminal justice system. The fifth chapter examines the culture of fear as it exists in California and how it has exacerbated inflammatory perspectives regarding crime rates in the State. The sixth chapter discusses why privatization efforts have failed within the State's criminal justice system, while the seventh chapter discusses the mythology of privatization and how current socio-political and rhetorical conditions in California have enabled private contracting in the State's criminal justice system to appear both logical and prudent. Bibliography and index