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Privatizing the United States Justice System: Police, Adjudication, and Corrections Services From the Private Sector

NCJ Number
G W Bowman, S Hakim, P Seidenstat
Date Published
352 pages
These 26 papers examine privatization in the criminal justice system, including philosophical and practical issues related to the role and performance of private security, private mediation, private prosecution, and private correctional services.
An introduction summarizes the economic theory underlying privatization and the various methods of privatization. Privatization of security functions is then examined in terms of its history and use in the United States and Great Britain and several specific efforts to transfer security services from local governments to private security companies. The privatization of adjudication is discussed with respect to the establishment of community dispute resolution centers in the juvenile justice system, for-profit dispute resolution companies, the use of the rent-a-judge concept by businesses in civil disputes, the concept of private prosecution in criminal cases, the legal and practical issues related to mediation, and answers to common criticisms of alternative dispute resolution. Papers on corrections focus on the major issues in privatization of corrections; guidelines for jurisdictions considering the private management of their jails; and the steps that public administrators should take in planning, negotiating, and monitoring a corrections contract. Additional papers consider alternatives for facility ownership, financing, and management; Canada's experience with privatization and the John Howard Society; correctional industries; and former Chief Justice Warren Burger's view that society has the moral obligation to rehabilitate offenders. Figures, tables, chapter notes and reference lists, and index