Should private prisons play an increasing role in the criminal justice system? Why or why not?Should private prisons play an increasing role in the criminal justice system? Why or why not?
Yes. Many see the private systems as merely a financial change, but psychologists are seeing that the biggest advantage of private prisons is their opportunity to reform the traditional social patterns that form naturally in prisons. By that I mean that they can experiment with different rhythms of the daily routine, can set up a different reward system, etc.; of course they still have to conform to the law, but they are not obligated to follow strictly a set of predetermined procedures. For example, the guards can be profiled for different traits and education levels (one big problem in the present system is that the guards are poorly paid, poorly trained, sub-educated personnel, where a much more sophisticated approach is needed). Prison reform must be a primary project, and private management offers many opportunities to get past the “red tape” of today’s system. (Note: One of the main frictions between guards and inmates is that Pell Grants are available to the inmates but not to the offspring of the guards.)