Prison Systems: Privatization and For Profit Venture

  • Joseph Agoi University of Ibadan
  • Wiliam Hunnter University of Ibadan
  • Sussane Pauline Ofefe University of Ibadan
Keywords: Prisons, Privatization, For Profit, Incarceration, Rehabilitation
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Since the begging of time, the need for punishing and preventing evil has been rationalized as a key pillar in promoting cohesive, secure, and harmonious societies. Prisons as an institution are characterized by great power to punish wrongdoings and rehabilitation but with debatable achievement. The history of prisons dates back before the era of Christ having been established with a primary aim of containing and restraining convicts for the purpose of rehabilitation and restitution for their crimes. Nonetheless, rehabilitation has been the recurring idea of reformers but neither for some convicts nor other for-profits interested in the prison system. The sanctioning of prisons is noted to have significantly grown since the advent of modern prison (penitentiary) where the system is cited to be an essential American institution manifested by the passionate magnitude at which the U.S. has adopted and implemented the system compared other countries. By 1865 most of American prisons were characterized by cruelty, corruption, and overcrowding. Conversely, insufficient allocation of funds to the system resulted in deterioration of the prisons inhibiting the primary mandate of the institution. This further resulted in reforms of sentencing by courts where indeterminate sentencing and fixed maximum sentences were established. The rehabilitation goals were reinforced during the progressive era leading to the creation of federal prison systems. The status of prisons changed further during the Civil Rights movement where convicts demanded better treatment and protection of human rights. This paper denotes the history of the U.S. prison system and its privatization emphasizing the use of cheap or slave prisoners for profits and the government as well as the relationship between local, state, and federal agencies/courts with the disproportionate rate of incarceration of minority men with heavy sentencing.


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14 June, 2019
How to Cite
Agoi, J., Hunnter, W., & Ofefe, S. (2019). Prison Systems: Privatization and For Profit Venture. International Journal of Advanced Research, 1(2), 17-31. Retrieved from