Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

Book Review - Privatization and the Provision of Correctional Services: Context and Consequences

Edited by G. Larry Mays and Tara Gray; Anderson Publishing (1996)

This 185 page overview of prison privatization issues presents a thorough examination of the topic without coming down on one side or the other of the privatization question. With that said, the many problems and pitfalls revealed in its pages are all the more outstanding.

Among the chapter topics are: The role of government in a civil society; ideology and the calculation of efficiency in public and private correctional enterprises; legal considerations in prison privatization; privatization and conjugal visitation; and two chapters on prison labor: the role of corporate America in prison industries, and expanding prison industries through privatization.

The chapters on corporate exploitation of prison labor offer a revealing look at the bottom line of prison industries. The book succinctly states: "In order to best reduce the staggering costs of prisons, prison industries must operate efficiently, which means producing the most output for the least possible cost."

Why are prisoners ideal workers to achieve this goal? You'll find the answer later in the same chapter: "[T]here is a certain logic behind the principle of lesser eligibility: convicted criminals should not receive advantages [decent wages, working conditions, etc.] beyond that of the least of these our law-abiding brothers and sisters."

This book is highly recommended and is a fact-filled must read for those who want to scout the ideological frontiers of 21st century penology.

For ordering information on this and other criminal justice-related titles, contact: Anderson Publishing Co.; Criminal Justice Division; P.O. Box 1576; Cincinnati, OH 45201-1576.

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login