Karl R. Kunkel & Jason S. Capps
Private prison companies contract with state and federal jurisdictions for the custody of inmates, and, like other free market entities, economic profit is their objective. Currently in the United States there are two main companies who run most of the private facilities: Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and Wackenhut Corrections Corporation. As with businesses in other industries, these companies are multinational, operating prisons all around the world. Though there is a fair amount of resistance to the privatization of corrections, both from within the penal system and outside, the involvement of private corporations in U.S. corrections is becoming increasingly more common. Aspects of confinement have been privatized for several centuries and can be traced back to Virginia in 1607, when convicts were transported to America for labor through a contract system between early American agricultural entrepreneurs and the British government. During the 1800s, several early U.S. penitentiaries were privately operated, ...