Fischler College of Education: Student Articles

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-14-2016

Abstract

According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, one of the definitions of deprivation is the state of being deprived of something. In addition, Merriam-Webster has one of its definitions of freedom as the liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another.

According to Meiners (2011), the United States of America has the unfortunate distinction of having the most incarcerated individuals than any other nation. The United States of America has 5% of the world’s population, however incarcerates 25% of the world’s total prison population (Meiners, 2011).

The incarceration numbers have only increased since the 1970’s not due to increases in crime, but due to legislation such as New York State’s Rockefeller Drug Laws, three strikes and you are out, mandatory minimum sentencing and the war on drugs (Meiners, 2011).

According to Anderson (2009), the nationwide inmate population increasing from 200,000 in 1971 to over two million in 2008 has presented fiscal challenges to federal, state, and local government in the United States. The growth in the inmate population has resulted in serious fiscal challenges for municipalities. The primary resolution to this challenge has been for governments to depend on private, non-governmental entities to build and operate correctional facilities to house inmates convicted and sentenced by the respective municipality (Anderson, 2009). When studying the population of inmates who take college courses, Anders and Noblit (2011), found that 62% of the student inmate population was african-american. Since the inmate student population, closely relates the overall prison population nationwide, the question can be asked if the advent of the private run correctional facilities is having a disproportionate effect on minorities being warehoused into the prison system. The writer will examine the utilization of 3 privately operated correctional institutions to determine if their existence and purpose ultimately leads to a deprivation of freedom.

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