The Not-For-Profit Prison

Richard Moran, Mount Holyoke College

In recent years the debate over the privatization of prisons has reached an acrimonious stalemate. Opinions remain sharply divided, mostly along ideological lines. Criminologists and penologists on the right generally favor private prisons, while those of the left favor public prisons. There is a third alternative, however, that has been completely ignored. The private, not-for-profit prison contains the potential to maximize the advantage of both the public and the private prison, while at the same time minimizing the disadvantages of each. In addition, dedicated and talented professionals, who are primarily committed to penal reform and correctional innovation would be readily attracted to the private, not-for-profit prison. Finally, existing foundations and professional organizations, such as the Philadelphia Prison Society, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the American Correctional Association, and even the American Society of Criminology, are encouraged to establish their own not-for-profit prison.

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Updated 05/20/2006