Florida's Juvenile Justice Facilities: A Comparative Evaluation of Educational Services Between Public- and Private-Providers

Christine Arazan, Florida State University
Thomas G. Blomberg, Forida State University

ABSTRACT
While having historical precedent, privatization of corrections in both the adult and juvenile systems has experienced a dramatic gain in popularity during the last 25 years. This trend has reportedly been fueled by concerns over fiscal scarcity, governmental inefficiency at handling an ever-increasing inmate population, and the increasing size of the public sector. These concerns are related to the increased incarceration rate of the past twenty years.

This growth of privatization in corrections has stimulated lively discussion about the efficacy of private providers in delivering services that have traditionally been provided by government agencies. Despite twenty years of literature addressing the potential benefits and negatives of privatization within the field of corrections, we are still without responsible empirical conclusions. Specifically in regards to juvenile justice, the privatization movement has occurred without evidence demonstrating that private contractors are capable of providing comparable or better services at a lower cost. The goal of this paper is to provide an empirical evaluation of privatization in Florida's juvenile justice facilities by focusing specifically on quality indicators of educational services between public and private providers.

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Updated 05/20/2006