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Private Prisons

Private Prisons

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Private Prisons

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Presentation Transcript

  1. Private Prisons • The argument for: • Privatization as an ideology • Control government spending • Better service for less money • Can implement changes quicker than the state

  2. Private Prisons • The argument against: • Research shows they: • Monitoring does not seem to work

  3. Private Prisons • The philosophical argument: • For-profit punishment (a.k.a. making a profit off crime) • Do private prisons show the same symbolism as state prisons? • Connection between corporations and policy creation

  4. Models of Incarceration • Emphasizes security, discipline, and order • Security and housekeeping • Maintaining offenders’ ties to family and community

  5. Prison Organization • Fulfill goals related to keeping inmates, using them for labor, and serving them through treatment • Individual staff members not equipped to perform all functions • Custodial employees are most numerous • All employees responsible to warden

  6. The rise of the prison • “Big houses” common during first half of 20th century • Walled prison with large, tiered cell blocks, a yard, shops, and industrial workshops • Isolated from society • Generally orderly (for a prison) • Generally provided food, housing, and hygiene • Birth of the inmate/prisoner code

  7. The inmate code • The “old” version • The “right” guy

  8. The inmate code • The “new” version (Carceral) • “You are a prisoner, they are the guards; never forget this” (103) • Con Rule #1 – Don’t tell • Con Rule #2 – Do your own time • Con Rule #3 – Always spin staff • Con Rule #4 – Show no feeling

  9. The inmate code • The “new” version (Carceral) • “You are a prisoner, they are the guards; never forget this” (103) • Con Rule #5 – Keep up the image • Con Rule #6 – Get or be got • Con Rule #7 – Pay your debts • Con Rule #8 – Steal from the state, not from other prisoners

  10. The inmate code • The “real” version (Carceral) • #1 – Snitching must have a purpose • #2 – Manipulate • #3 – If you can get away with it, don’t pay your debt • #4 – Gossip • #5 – Steal whatever you can

  11. The inmate code • How the new and the old blend • How the code influences the level of violence • Different code for different statuses within the prisoner culture.

  12. The rise of the prison • During 1960s and 1970s, rehabilitation model rose to prominence

  13. The fundamental question • What quality of life should be maintained in the prison?

  14. The fundamental question • Carceral says the following 7 things are required:

  15. The fundamental question • What quality of life should be maintained in the prison? • Order • Amenities

  16. Prisoners’ Rights • Cooper v. Pate (1964) • Imposed civil liability on persons who deprive prisoners of their rights • Inmates could challenge conditions of confinement • Reasonableness of prison conditions and regulations • Compelling state interest • Least restrictive alternative • Clear and present danger

  17. First Amendment • Freedom of speech, press, assembly, petition, and religion • Procunier v. Martinez (1974) – permits censorship of mail to maintain security • Turner v. Safley (1987) – upheld ban on correspondence between inmates in different institutions • Have upheld prisoners’ rights to meals consistent with religious dietary laws, to correspond with religious leaders, to possess religious literature, and to assemble for services

  18. Fourth Amendment • Prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures • Typically not extended to prisoners • Hudson v. Palmer (1984) – upheld right of prison officials to search cells and confiscate materials

  19. Eighth Amendment • Prohibits cruel and unusual punishment • Chapman v. Rhodes (1977) – crowding alone does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment • Tests to determine whether conditions are unconstitutional • Whether punishment shocks the conscience of civilized society • Whether punishment is unnecessarily cruel • Whether punishment goes beyond legitimate penal aims

  20. Fourteenth Amendment • No state may deprive citizen of life, liberty, or property without due process of law • Due process • Wolff v. McDonnell (1974) – basic procedural rights must be present when decisions are made about disciplining of inmates • Equal protection • Lee v. Washington (1968) – racial discrimination may not be official policy within prison walls • Pargo v. Elliott (1995) – identical treatment not required for men and women

  21. The rise of the prison • However, violence in the prisons was on the rise… • Relaxed rules lead to: • Focus of corrections has shifted to crime control

  22. Prison as a “total institution” • Total institution, defined • Defects of total power • Limitation on rewards and punishments officials can use

  23. It’s tough running a prison… • Exchange relationships between officers and inmates • Strength of inmate leadership

  24. Sociodemographic and Offense Characteristics of State Prison Inmates

  25. Inmate Characteristics • Men in their late 20s and early 30s • Have less than a high school education • Disproportionately members of minority groups • Recidivists and those convicted of violent crimes • The Rise of “state-raised convicts”

  26. The Nature of Convict Society • Inmate code • Prisonization

  27. The Nature of Convict Society • Importation model • Deprivation model