Criminal Justice System
A new economy has been created to accommodate the volume of drunk driving offenses and other "tough on crime" initiatives through privatization of incarceration, probation and monitoring (mandatory drug/alcohol testing and house arrest) services. Some jurisdictions also require that the offender attend education and therapy at a specific organization. These services are provided to the local governments through contracts funded by tax payers and are resulting in loss of revenue for smaller businesses that perform similar services.
Privatizing services is becoming more common place in our society and is under constant debate. The fact is that the service providers are for profit organizations and are not interested in rehabilitation of offenders or making our communities safer. When vouchers are used, they are essentially double dipping into tax payer dollars to make a profit. Organizations like Rocky Mountain Offender Management System (RMOMS) and others are attempting to include language in their contracts so they can provide education and therapy services to offenders in addition to supervision services.
Other services include home monitoring, incarceration and work release services. The offender is charged a high rate for these services in addition to their fines. These institutions are interested in keeping their facilities full so they can increase their profit margin. A variety of criminal offenders are housed together, which for a drunk driving offender can be dangerous. Most people convicted of drunk driving do not have gang affiliations, mental health issues, drug use or addiction problems, but they are treated the same as other convicted offenders.
An additional problem is that judicial discretion has been removed from the process through mandatory minimum sentencing legislation. If we are unable to trust the judges’ decisions in these cases, then we have essentially tied their hands and made it impossible for them to perform their assigned duties as a judge. The possibility of justice has been removed from this system.
Can private probation companies be both monitor and counselor for their clients?
The Dangers of Prison Contracting or “Privatization”
Is it reasonable to privatize prisons and prison management? - Voice your opinion
Candy Lightner - Founder of MADD
What's Your Opinion of RMOMS?
Mandatory Minimum Sentencing — A Student Comment