Date of Award


Document Type


Selected Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Degree Name

Master of Science in Criminal Justice


Criminal Justice


School of Arts & Sciences


Private prisons were established as a possible solution to alleviate the serious overcrowding issue affecting prisons during the 1980’s. This thesis supports the reasoning behind why private prisons should be abolished as they did not deliver on the claims made in support of their existence but rather, reveals the multitude of negative repercussions when the financial interests of a few large and powerful private corporations override the basic safety and security of our prison system. The studies contained in this thesis attempt to reveal that the data meant to support private prisons is not only inadequate, but often, inaccurately depicted by the same corporations who benefit from their existence. The evidence contained in this thesis offers reasoning that suggest private prisons were not the appropriate solution to the problem and only created a host of other ethical issues, mainly the incentive to incarcerate when a profit is to be made. Suggestions have been made as possible alternatives to private prisons, as well as the need to examine the factors contributing to mass incarceration and how private prisons create obstacles to reform.

Related Pillar(s)