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Introduction paragraph (approx

Writing

Introduction paragraph (approx. 150–200 words): The use of private prisons a subject of debate since the concept was implemented in the 1980s. There is good reason for the concern of the safety and true costs of these for-profit prisons, as well as their effect on our economy and social issues of our country. There have been many who doubt that the incarceration of people should not be privatized and profited on. Though private prisons came to be as a quick fix to overcrowded prisons resulting from mass incarceration, many claim there is corruption in the industry to ensure these prisons stay full and continue to profit. The industry is well known to be under a shroud of secrecy due to a lack of public access to their records. These prisons are able to cut costs and cover up issues within the prisons without being easily exposed by the press or watchdog organizations. The U.S. government needs to stop allowing companies to gain so much profit off the incarceration of our fellow human beings. The U.S. government should stop utilizing private prisons because they create a demand for prisoners, they cost the state more in the long-term, and they are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Outline: I. Supporting Point 1 A. Topic sentence: The United States government is allowing the prison industry to be run like a business and creating a demand for prisoners while cutting costs for basic maintenance and training. B. Supporting detail: The costs of operating prisons at capacity or at 60% capacity are the same, so when private prisons are paid per inmate, it is far more profitable to keep the prison at capacity (Eisen, 2018). C. Supporting detail: A judge in Pennsylvania was being paid by the private prison industry to give children more severe punishments so the company’s prison could be kept filled (Brickner & Diaz, 2011). II. Supporting Point 2 A. Topic sentence: With a main purpose of private prisons being that they are a cheaper resource for the state, this may not be the case in the long-term. B. Supporting detail: Prisoners released from private prisons have gained little skills to reintegrate into society, resulting in larger rates of recidivism (Brickner & Diaz, 2011) C. Supporting detail: About 65% of private prisons have bed guarantees, meaning that the prisons have a guaranteed minimum occupancy rate. This ensures that prisons get paid even if the beds are empty (Lyons, 2018). III. Supporting Point 3 A. Topic sentence: Though the private prisons are run under a government contract, they are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act like public prisons are. B. Supporting detail: Private prison corporations have spent millions lobbying against the Private Prison Information Act and the PPIA has died in committee every time it’s been proposed. Members of congress are known to have stocks in private prison companies (Vilher, 2017). C. Supporting detail: With the inability to access records of private prisons, watchdog organizations and the press have little chance of rooting out problems or corruption within the industry (Brickner & Diaz, 2011). IV. Countering Opposing Perspectives A. Topic sentence: Some researchers have shown that private prisons are more cost-efficient than public prisons for states. Researchers also claim that the competition of the private industry benefits the costs (Lyons, 2018) B. Supporting detail: The studies show that the savings vary such as Ohio saving less than 5% while California saved over 55%. While some studies say the costs are comparable, a study done by Abt Associates claimed private prisons are 6.3-10.4% cheaper than public prisons (Lyons, 2018). C. Refuting detail: The studies are largely refuted by critics. Other researchers say comparing costs is more difficult due to private prison not having to release to the public the full details of their costs. There is also concern that studies do not include important information such as the state’s cost of overseeing private contracts, security levels, or the differences in inmate characteristics. It should also be noted that private prisons can cut down on costs by reducing the benefits to staff. Guards at private prisons are paid $7000 less a year than their public counterparts (Lyons, 2018). V. Conclusion A. Review central ideas presented in body and make connection to thesis: It is clear that there is a lot of research performed on the private prison industry with a series of varying results. Hardly either side can agree on which studies to fully believe. This will continue to be an issue until the private prison industry is subject to the Freedom of Information Act or at the very least, the proposed Private Prison Information Act. Until the private companies, working under government contracts and profiting off the incarceration of people, are forced to release their records in full, we will not truly know how beneficial these prisons truly are. They can continue to cut costs within their prison without full accountability. Unveiling the secrecy within those prisons will be the next step in determining whether these private prisons are disbanded or continued to be used. B. Closing thoughts: Mass incarceration is using up a substantial amount of our tax dollars. Private prisons are paid to have empty beds and some pay off judges to ensure their prisons stay full. I believe a criminal justice system that does not incarcerate non-violent, victimless crimes is the way to go to reduce the prison numbers. Discontinuing the use of private prisons while lowering the total prison population will ensure public prisons can house the prisoners and putting tax money back into education and other social services. References Brickner, M & Diaz, S. (2011). Prisons for profit: Incarceration for sale. Human Rights, 38(3), 14-17. http://vlib.excelsior.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/ login.aspx?direct=true&db=asn&AN=71530930&site=eds-live&scope=site Eisen, L. (2018). Inside private prisons: An American dilemma in the age of mass incarceration. http://vlib.excelsior.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/ login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=1628840&site=eds-live&scope=site Lyons, C. L. (2018). For-profit prisons. CQ Researcher, 28(37), 873-896. http://vlib.excelsior.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx? direct=true&db=edb&AN=133034365&site=eds-live&scope=site Vilher, L. L. (2017). Private prisons and the need for greater transparency: Private Prison Information Act. Brooklyn Journal of Corporate, Financial & Commercial Law, 12(1), 213-240. http://vlib.excelsior.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/ login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=131504843&site=eds-live&scope=site

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