Seeking Markets Behind Bars: Capitalism Will Go Anywhere for a Buck

Randall G. Shelden, University of Nevada - Las Vegas
William B. Brown, Western Oregon University

This paper explores the many different businesses that sell their products or services to the agencies of the criminal justice system, especialy the correctional system. The products and services range from everyday prisoner needs (e.g., food, clothing, medical services) to high-tech security systems for the system itself (e.g., fencing, locks, urine testing kits). Profits from such services are large enough to suggest that there is a need for a steady supply of criminals and victims. Private prisons and jails merely add to the profits already being made through federal, state and local operations.

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Updated 05/20/2006