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What is the privatization of probation and parole services?

What are three arguments in support of Privatization What are three arguments in opposition to Privatization What is the privatization of probation and parole services? Another ethical issue is whether states should privatize probation and parole services or continue to keep them public. Proponents of privatization argue that there are several benefits of turning over various governmental services to private corporations. One alleged benefit is the reduction of operating costs. Proponents claim that private enterprise can do things more efficiently and less expensively than the government. Government operation is equated with waste and inefficiency. Some of this is attributed to the civil service system, which guarantees job tenure except in extreme circumstances when jobs are abolished. Civil service workers are not under the same pressures as workers in private industry, who must consistently show a profit. Opponents of privatization argue that government agencies can be efficient and effective. According to this perspective, government offices can adopt efficiency and effectiveness enhancing strategies just as do privately run agencies. Perhaps the main argument against privatization is whether it is appropriate for the government to turn over functions as basic as the correctional supervision of offenders to private businesses. Many question whether the symbolic task of punishing offenders should be handed over to workers who wear uniforms that say “Brand X Corrections” rather than the “State of ___” (American Bar Association, 1986). the most dramatic example of this would be for render the symbolism of the state executing an offender? Less dramatically, is it right for the state to contract out prison operations that involve the deprivation of liberty and serious disciplinary measures such as solitary confinement? Set against this context, is it ethical to allow a private company to operate a probation or parole operation that involves the very important decision of whether to allow an offender to remain in the community or be revoked for a violation and sent to prison? Or does the deprivation of liberty involve a basic right that ought not to be relinquished by the government? Another concern with regard to privatization is whether the profit motive can debase corrections. For example, would private probation or parole agencies be under pressure to keep clients under supervision beyond an appropriate release time so as to keep caseloads and reimbursements high? Would private agencies try to pay their employees fair salaries, or would profit pressures work to minimize salaries and benefits for officers? Would private agencies try to cut services for offender (e.g., counseling, drug treatment) to a minimum? In the 19 century, the profit motive did operate to cause significant problems in many state prison systems. In one juvenile system, for example, boys would be kept under supervision longer than necessary because the contractor did not want to lose their productivity. A more recent example of the profit movitve perhaps having a negative effect occurred in Texas in 1997. Guards in a Texas jail were videotaped apparently shooting offenders with stun guns, kicking offenders in the groin, allowing dogs to bite the offenders, and making offenders crawl on their hands and knees. These guards were Texas jailers supervising Missouri offenders who had been sent to excess jail space in Texas because of over crowding in Missouri-at a charge of $40 per day per offender to the state of Missouri. This situation is sort of an in-between area between public and private enterprise, in which one state offers a service to another state for a profit. Arguably, the profit motive influenced Texas officials to be lax in their training and or supervision to the extent that this brutality occurred. One response to such problems is spelling out a private agency's responsibilities to offenders in a carefully devised contract and then monitoring the implementation of the contract. If state inspectors enforce the contract conditions, then problems can be prevented or quickly resolved. If a private agency does not resolve any problems, they are in violation of the contract and the agency can be dropped. Opponents of privatization argue that there is a problem with this argument. If the state wants to end a contract, there may not be another service provider willing and able to step in and take over the contracted service. At the very least, it would take some time for another company to be ready to provide the needed service. Still another problem with privatization is not private agencies can be overly selective of the clients they want to manage. Private agencies in corrections and in areas such as welfare have been criticized for picking the most capable clients. The criticism is that these individuals may have been able to succeed on probation or in getting off of public assistance with little or no h

Asked By: - 12/28/2009
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This question has something I can work with. However, your explanation reads like a research paper. It was a good read as it was informative. It seems to me that this question is pretty much answered by your explanation... More
Answered By: Joshua - 12/29/2009
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