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Equal or Not? Private Versus Public Corrections Services, Programming, and Climate

NCJ Number
254113
Date Published
2019
Length
27 pages
Author(s)
John Wooldredge; Joshua C. Cochran
Agencies
NIJ-Sponsored
Publication Type
Research (Applied/Empirical), Report (Study/Research), Report (Grant Sponsored), Program/Project Description
Grant Number(s)
2016-IJ-CX-0013
Annotation
Since more rigorous comparisons of private and public corrections are needed to improve our understanding of the effects of privatization, this project developed a three]step procedure for assessing equivalence and then performance measures.
Abstract
In order to illustrate the arguments, an empirical descriptive analysis of two private prisons and five structurally equivalent state]run prisons in Ohio was conducted, documenting heterogeneity in resources, staff climate, and inmate behaviors. The discussion and analyses emphasize how comparability across private and public corrections should not be assumed. Comparisons should focus on organizations with similar infrastructures and systematically assess client needs and programming, client behavior, staff climate, and a diverse set of outcomes that bear directly and indirectly on clientsf well]being. In so doing, researchers can better set the bar that privatization is supposed to reach or exceed. They can also conduct more credible impact assessments. Cost]savings, for example, do not necessarily occur when contracted services do not match those offered through public corrections or when clientele differ significantly between a private and a public organization. (publisher abstract modified)
Date Created: July 20, 2021