The question of how to allocate resources to efficiently provide society with institutions of justice has become ever more pressing. Resource shortages afflict all of the government-provided elements of justice: police, courts, and prisons. A reconsideration of the typical methods of providing these institutions is essential to protect the ideals of justice. Changing the Guard: Private Prisons and the Control of Crime is a collection of articles in general support of private prison models. Each author offers his own thesis and distinct material pertinent to privatizing prisons. Together these articles serve as a glimpse into today’s market-oriented research surrounding prison privatization leading up to the book’s most notably radical contribution: Bruce Benson’s chapter which closes the text. This review draws attention to his crucial normative concern: what is the appropriate role of government? Benson’s chapter is a change of pace from the typical proponents of government contracting. Benson looks at the deeper issue of legitimate law-making as a precursor to effective prison policy.
Find the article at the Mises Institute.