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Ethical Issues in Privatization of Jails - Essay Example

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Running Head: Privatization Ethical Issues in the Privatization of Jails (Name) (Subject) (Instructor) (Date) Abstract Florida Governor Rick Scott recently incurred the ire of various groups for his push to privatize nearly thirty prisons in Florida. Arguing that such a move to privatize state prisons will save the state crucial funds, the decision nevertheless incited negative reactions, a good bulk of which emphasizes Scott’s alliance with private prison companies…
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Ethical Issues in Privatization of Jails
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Download file to see previous pages The idea of privatizing prisons may not have been the brainchild of Florida Governor Rick Scott, but the implementation of the said move is certainly connected recently with him. The primary argument for the action is to save the state some $22 million annually (Deslatte, 2011). Critics claim that the perceived benefit does not warrant ovelooking the negative consequences. Furthermore, accusations are being levelled against Scott for allegedly having a conflict of interests in the matter. What follows is an examination of the moral grounds from which both sides may derive the strength of their respective arguments. The Moral Value of Privatizing Prisons One pertinent question that ought to be asked is, “What moral principle could serve as the basis for the privatization of prisons?” One principle could be the moral responsibility of the citizens of the state to contribute to the preservation of the state. If the latter entails saving the state’s funds, then this could provide a strong foundation for the argument. Considering that Governor Scott is not just any ordinary citizen but an official of the state, then he has a moral obligation to protect the state’s interests. More importantly, Kantian ethics dictates that an individual is bound by duty to fulfill a moral obligation, because the latter is inherently right (Albert, Denise, and Peterfreund, 1980). In other words, if the state can be preserved through the intelligent management of funds, then actions contributing to such a consequence can be morally justified. More importantly, regardless of consequences, Governor Scott was merely acting out of a sense of duty, as far as Immanuel Kant is concerned. Not only can such a position be argued for by appealing to a higher moral principle, but it can be demonstrated that privatizing jails can lead to beneficial consequences. One of the perceived beneficial consequences was mentioned above, namely, that the state may be able to save funds, and consequently, sustain itself. Another good consequence is the possibility of such prisons to actually improve their operating conditions. Often, this is the case when a state institution is privatized, since the funding is now allocated primarily for the improvement of the involved institution, without having to go through a tedious process of bidding just to acquire a larger share of funding. In other words, the private funds may thus be utilized for the sole purpose of improving the prisons. This will invariably lead to better reform facilities and programs, larger capacities, and a generally improved level of security for the state. It must be acknowledged that such improvements will unnecessarily cost the state a good deal of money, unnecessary since it can be shouldered by private institutions. The Ethical Challenges Posed by a Corporatist Penal Framework As with examining the possible moral grounds of privatizing prisons, the opposite argument ought to be analyzed on the basis of moral grounds. First, it must be noted that in privatizing a state-run institution, an implied message is being delivered, namely, that the ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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