Advantages and Disadvantages of Private Prisons

In US, the local, state and federal governments are in a struggling phase to deal with balancing their budgets. They are scrutinizing different options that are considerably in their advantage to increase their revenue whilst minimizing costs. One of the best options that they are looking at is to change over their traditionally owned services to private sectors. One of these traditional services is the prisons. However, there are a lot of people who are questioning the reliability of this option. Is the government ready or they still had to study further the advantages and disadvantages of private prisons.


1. Cost cutting – It is very apparent that if the government will transition this service to private sector, the possibility to cut the operational cost is high. They can save up to 50% of their expenses. The local government usually pays for the salary and benefits of public employees while private sectors pay almost the same amount of salary, however, with a lower compensation when it comes to health benefits, compensation claims or overtime claims. Basically, this is the most considered factor of the government when it comes to prison privatization.

2. Effectiveness – A private sectors contract with the government can be easily cancelled. Because of this fact, what you are about to expect to them is a better performance when it comes to providing the best services that is needed. They can provide better living conditions for prisons, highly secured facility, and enforcement of effective security and on top of that, a much effective rehabilitation program for the prisons before they go back into community.

3. More Space for public prisons – Prisoners that will remain in public prisons can have a better living condition and they can be taken care of well if the government will implement privatization of prisons. The budget for each of the prisoners will be managed well and the riots can be eliminated due to a better ratio of inmates and security.

4. Creation of more jobs – If private sectors will be realized, the door for more employment will open up for those unemployed people capable of rendering their service in this niche.


1. Dependency – The tendency of the government to depend greatly on private sector is high. Because of this factor it is predicted that the possibility of the private sectors to increase their operational cost is high. Meaning, everything will end up just with the same issue of high costs.

2. Transparency and Honesty – this ethical characteristic is very important in prisons. The private sector could hide some stuff just to get extra bucks. There are private sectors that are profit oriented and not a good service oriented, so this could be a very crucial idea.

3. Not enough experience – experience in handling the inmates is very crucial, one of the biggest question here is how prepared the private sector is in handling the inmates most especially the notorious prisoners in the country?

This is a very tough issue for the government and requires a very tough decision right away. How good and how smart is their verdict for this problem? How about you? What is your stand about this?