Privatization in the correctional setting takes many forms. This article focuses on an extreme variant of correctional privatizationâ€”privately owned and operated facilitiesâ€”and critically examines the philosophical argument used to legitimate the practice. Among the more problematic features identified include a reliance on an interpretation of liberal theory that muddles the distinction between rights and authority, and confusion regarding the libertarian conceptions of the ultraminimal and minimal state. As a result, the attempt to justify the delegation of coercive authority from the state to private agencies is questioned. The authors attempt to advance ongoing debate by discussing one method for identifying what privatization alternatives are consistent with liberal theory's conceptions of the individual and the state's authority to punish.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)