The Negligent State: Privatization and State Criminality

Donna Killingbeck, Western Michigan University

Governmental negligence is principally a consequence both of ideological commitments to favoring particular programs and constituencies over others, and of decisions of political expediency (Friedrichs 1996). An examination of government decisions to private public services reveals that governmental negligence is present in both the privatization of correctional services and welfare services. In light of the harmful and often fatal consequences and the unnecessary economic losses that occur as a result, this paper attempts to move us toward extending the concept of the negligent (or wasteful) state to include the inadequate and ineffective governmental responses to crime and poverty and to define this as a form of governmental criminality.

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Updated 05/20/2006