Privatization of other sectors
Electronic surveillance is an emerging sentencing trend through which an offender is released but an electronic gadget is put on his wrist to monitor all his movements and actions. House-confinement is also a new sentence whereby an offender is released but is restricted not to go beyond the confinements of his home compound. A sentence of compensation or of sum money to a person injured by ones criminal offences (Beck and Karberg 11). One of the new trends in sentencing involves privatization of prisons and correctional facilities.
There have been recent trends towards privatization of government correctional facilities. This entails the practice of contracting private firms to run prisons. By June 2001, the number of private prisons in the United States were approximately 154 with a capacity estimated at 142, 000 each (DiIulio 35). It has been claimed that the inmate population had been growing at an average rate of 100% since the early 80s.
The trend towards private correctional facilities is because of the congestion and of government prisons. For instance, in the year 2000 there were over 2 million prisoners in the United States, overstretching the capacity of the prisons by 20% (Beck and Karberg 21). Public budgets are limited and the cost of constructing new prisons at the expense of other essential services such as education and health is considered a liability to the government. The limited funds also to the extent of infringing on the rights of prisoners. This means more suits against the government in law courts.
Privatization of other sectors such as energy, transport, and health just to mention a few has led to provision of quality services and efficient management. It has therefore been proposed that private firms have the funds to construct more prisons and deliver services of high quality. Elimination of the bureaucracy necessitated in running public prisons means that private companies could purchase items needed in the prison in bulk without having to go through the rigorous processes and obstacles that are common features of bureaucracy.
Private prisons are also able to save money. This is because there is room for innovation in the private sector. Efficient management of the facilities means that no money goes to waste. There are no major frauds or corruption schemes as the interests of the balance sheet and the profit and loss statement are well safeguarded. Privatization may take the form of a contract where a firm is hired to run a government facility; or it may take an ownership form where a firm constructs and owns prison and manages it or hires it out (Anderson, Davoli, & Moriarty 33).
The private sector offers three broad services to correctional facilities, which include Construction and design of the facilities, General services such as food, health and rehabilitation programs, and Management. In terms of efficiency and cost-saving, private firms are able to construct prisons faster than government hired contractors. Research done indicates that it takes about two and a half years for a government to construct a prison while private firms do so in approximately eight months. This is because it is only the signature of The Chief Executive officer, which is needed to commission or approve a construction request (Anderson, Davoli, & Moriarty 35). On the other hand, a governments approval has to go through due to bureaucracy.