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Weighing the Watchmen: Evaluating the Costs and Benefits of Outsourcing Correctional Services

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Publication Date: January 2002

Publisher(s): Reason Foundation

Author(s): Geoffrey F. Segal; Adrian T. Moore

Topic: Justice (Prisons and correctional facilities and personnel)

Type: Report


Departments of corrections at the federal, state, and local levels should closely examine how and by what
standards the private sector can be involved in their corrections system. Experience with privatization to date shows that the process and administration require care, but when properly implemented can deliver quality improvement and cost savings. Further study of the benefits of a competitive environment in corrections is needed. Both theory and real-world examples from other industries suggest that competition results in the optimal level of efficiency and quality.