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Accreditation and Private Prisons Essay

According to the American Correctional Association website, accreditation can be define as “a system of verification that correctional agencies/facilities comply with national standards promulgated by the American Correctional Association” (“Standards & Accreditation”, n.d.). In order to achieve accreditation, it must go through reviews, appraisals, analysis, and hearings first.

For a correctional agency to be accepted for accreditation, they at least must have one of the following: “pretrial or presented adult or juveniles; convicted adults or juveniles adjudicated delinquent; and/or adult or juvenile offenders sentenced to community supervision” (“Standards & Accreditation”, n.d.). There are many advantages and benefits of accreditation. The benefits have shown assessments of facilities’ strength and weaknesses, shown goals obtained, implantation of policies and procedures, established specific guidelines for everyday procedure, “aid in the defense of frivolous lawsuits, and increase of community support and a higher level of staff professionalism and morale” (“Standards & Accreditation”, n.d.).

At ACA, they believe accreditation can enhance staff and development training. While though accreditation, there will be transcribe policies and agendas to help designate a training and staff development. The program will be for all levels of personnel. Employees’ experiences will automatically grow throughout all the training related to their job-related positions. They will receive current job-related training in relation to position requirements, new theories, current correctional issues, techniques and technologies. With the professional trainings, correctional officers will work toward compliance with standards which represent a professional practice. After all their hard work through the training, they will take pride in their professionalism.

Through the ACA and the accreditation process, corrections has become more respected as a profession. They apply evidence-based practices which provide safe, secure, and humane conditions of confinement for over the millions of prisoners confined in this country. There are many valuable insights the Association provides about criminal justice and correctional policies to legislatures and government officials (Hamden, 2006-2013).

Privatization are private sector prison used to hold prisoners. It is one of the solution used to solve the overcrowding of prisoners. With private prisons, it can help reduce the cost of incarcerating prisoners in an overcrowding prison (Joel, 2013). During the past couple of decades, prison population has increase. To solve this problem, it would require higher taxes on the people to build more prisons. The people responded by refusing to pay higher taxes to the government to build more prisons. Unable to solve the overcrowding of prison, a solution occurred to build private prisons to decrease overcrowding prisons.

During the mid-1980s, private business interests saw the overcrowding prison as a profit and a way to expand their businesses. Corrections Corporation of America, the first modern private business was the first to emerge and established itself in 1984. The contract for the facility in Hamilton County, Tennessee was awarded to Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). It was the first time any government in the country to ever contract the entire jail operation to a private operator (Smith, 1996-2013).

Privatization of prisons is thought to be more cost-effective and more efficient than public prisons (Smith, 1996-2013). Through some research to doubt on these claims, evidence show private prisons did not live up to its expectations. Research showed private prisons were no different from public prisons.

In private prisons, lower staff and training may likely increase incidents of violence and escapes. With a nationwide study conducted, assaults on prison guards by inmates occur more frequently than in government-run prisons (Smith, 1996-2013). The study also show inmates assaulting other inmates occurred more often in private prisons.

Concerning private vs. public prisons, there is no comparison between the two. Private prisons does not exactly help reduce the cost in public prisons. With few staffing and increase of proper training, it is likely to have more problems in private prisons than public prisons.


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