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Privatization of Juvenile Facilities - Essay Example

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Privatization of Juvenile Facilities Name Institution Privatization of Juvenile Facilities The privatization of Juvenile facilities has been an issue since the late 1980’s. It has been the source of discontent among members of congress as multiple congressional hearings have revolved around this issue…
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Privatization of Juvenile Facilities
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Download file to see previous pages This represented over 30,000 juvenile offenders (Bayer, & Pozen, 2003). In 1974, Congress passed the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act which encouraged the community to develop reasonable alternatives to incarceration. This request saw the adoption of privatization as an appropriate mechanism that could be used for deinstitutionalization. As a result, by 1990, nearly 90 % of states had a minimum of one contract with a private corporation that was non profit. On the other hand, 60% of states had a minimum of one contract with a private corporation for profit to operate a facility for juveniles. Due to the overcrowding experienced in prisons, high costs of operating prisons, and the high cost of building new prisons, many states find privatization a viable option. The issue of privatization of juvenile facilities raises certain important issues. If a state were to privatize its juvenile facilities, which component of the facilities will be most effectively privatized? Such that the negative impact of privatization is minimized. Armstrong (2001) notes that the government or the state must retain and continue funding the costs that are associated with incarceration of the delinquents. The private corporation on the other hand, should take care of the programmatic and custodial managerial services. This is an effective approach as it allows the private sector to handle issues that are less sensitive. The state continues to meet the direct costs of incarcerated delinquents. This way the incarcerated juveniles will be able to access critical services like educational programming and quality nutrition. Many of the private corporations are out to make profits. Privatization of the costs of incarceration of the delinquents will see incarcerated delinquents being deprived of essential services as observed in the Oklahoma example. The Office of Juvenile Affairs contracted a for- profit private corporation. This contract was terminated in the year 2002 after concerns were raised about the operations of the juvenile facility. The contract was also terminated in an effort to cut down the budget of the Office of Juvenile Affairs. The OCCY (Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth) raised concerns about the absence of educational programs and proper nutrition for the juveniles (Office of Juvenile Affairs, 2010). The state stands a better chance to effectively manage juvenile facilities. This is because the state is a non profit organization that will emphasize on delivering the essential services to the incarcerated juveniles as opposed to maintaining the bottom line and cutting costs at the detriment of the incarcerated juveniles. Today, it is a fact that many states consider privatization of juvenile facilities a viable option. Despite the negative aspects closely associated with privatization of these facilities, states continue to privatize the facilities in an effort to reduce overcrowding and minimize operation costs. What can then be done to ensure that the interests of the public are preserved by the privatized juvenile facilities? One good and effective approach is the setting up of a state agency mandated with the constant evaluation and monitoring of state juvenile facilities and the juvenile programs. These agencies will have the ability to conduct random visits to the privatized juvenile facilities and assess conditions of the facilities and state of juveniles and staff. In this way, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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