Compare and contrast the differences between private jails and those run by local, state, or federal governments.
Some Differences Between Private Jails and Government Prison:
- Exercising greater freedom to manage personnel.Private operating firms are not bound by civil-servicerules in managing their personnel; this significantlyreduces personnel management [ costs.39 Private opera-ting firms can use both positive and negative incentives to induce employees to perform. Civil-service rules and terms of
public-employee union contracts tend to increase costs
- Private operators and owners of prisons have incentives to makemaintenance decisions that save long-run capital costs as well as current operating costs. Private firms caninvest today in ways that generate savings over time, while the public sector often has difficulty gettingapproval or funds for such investments. For example, in one prison a private company that took overoperations switched all lighting over to fluorescent bulbs and refitted the plumbing to stop rampant leaks,generating considerable savings in utility costs
- Many correctional departments are understaffed, leading to the use ofovertime to ensure sufficient correctional officers for each shift in each facility. Sometimes it is less expensiveto use overtime than to hire more employees, but only up to a point. Overtime also increases when employeescall in sick. In the public sector, sick time is considered an entitlement, not a privilege, and it is almostrebellious not to use it.36 With considerable success, private firms use incentives to reduce sick time and theconsequent overtime expenditures.
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