Prison Privatization

The Many Facets of a Controversial Industry

by Byron Eugene Price and John Charles Morris, Editors


The private prison industry has grown substantially in the past 20 years—the result of the need to meet the growing demand for prison space combined with a broader social and political willingness to transfer the coercive power of the state to the private sector. This burgeoning, multi-billion dollar industry seems to be here to stay, but privatized local, state, and national prisons draw vehement opposition as well as enthusiastic support.

Print Flyer
Cover image for Prison Privatization

September 2012


Pages 824
Volumes 3
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Crime/General

This book examines the current state of both the theory and practice of prison privatization in the United States in the 21st century, providing a balanced compendium of research that allows readers to draw their own conclusions about this controversial subject.

This three-volume set brings together noted scholars and experts in the field to provide a comprehensive treatment of the subject of privatized prisons in the United States. It is a definitive work on the topic that synthesizes current thought on both the theory and practice of prison privatization.

Volume I provides a broad-brush overview of private prisons that discusses the history of prison privatization and examines the expansion of the private prison industry and the growth of inmate populations in the United States. Volume II focuses on the corrections industry itself, providing essays that explore the business models, profit motivations, economic factors, and operations of the corporations that offer corrections services, while Volume III explores the political and social environment of prison privatization. Academics, practitioners, policy makers, and advocates for and against private prisons will find this work useful and enlightening, while general readers can use the unbiased information to draw their own conclusions in respect to the merits of prison privatization.


  • Provides a comprehensive examination of the subject of prison privatization
  • Authoritatively addresses policy areas that are normally glossed over or ignored in most prison privatization literature
  • Presents diverse viewpoints and perspectives derived from multiple expert contributors' experience
Author Info

Byron Eugene Price is the dean of the school of business at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York, in Brooklyn, NY. His published works include Praeger's Merchandizing Prisoners: Who Really Pays for Prison Privatization? and the journal articles "The Threat of Privatization: The Impetus behind Government Performance" and "The Impact of Privatization on Human Resources."

John Charles Morris is professor of public policy and serves as the PhD Graduate Program Director in the Department of Urban Studies and Public Administration at Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA. He is the coeditor of Building the Local Economy: Cases in Economic Development and Speaking Green with a Southern Accent: Environmental Management and Innovation in the South and he has published articles in State and Local Government Review, American Journal of Evaluation, and Public Administration Review.

is the dean of the school of business at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York, in Brooklyn, NY.



"This collection will become a heavily utilized reference source on the private prison movement. Summing Up: Highly recommended."Choice

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