The Privatization Debate: A Conceptual Framework for Improving (Public and Private) Corrections

Andrea M. Lindsey, Daniel P. Mears, Joshua C. Cochran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Although the privatization of corrections has a long history in America, debates about its merits have intensified in recent decades. The goals of this article are (a) to argue that privatized corrections is more prevalent than recognized and yet little is known about how it compares with public corrections, and (b) to provide a conceptual framework for advancing research and policy on privatized corrections. In so doing, we shed light on a wide range of unanswered questions about both public corrections and private corrections. We conclude by highlighting opportunities for informing the privatization debate and advancing research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)308-327
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Contemporary Criminal Justice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • evidence-based policy
  • private prisons
  • privatized corrections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law

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