Private Prisons against crime

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addams
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Re: Private Prisons against crime

Postby addams » Mon Dec 02, 2013 2:19 am UTC

That is a cute link. I like it.

I am fairly sure the prisons in Norway are public.
How about a private US prison?

Are there really such things?
Where? Here?
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Re: Private Prisons against crime

Postby BattleMoose » Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:44 am UTC

Spoiler:
oxoiron wrote:
davidstarlingm wrote:Technically, the 556 is NATO's choice for wounding people.

NATO decided to use the 556 because a varmint-killing round makes a good person-wounding round. In symmetric warfare, wounding is preferable to killing because a wounded soldier has to be protected, which slows down the enemy much more than a dead soldier.
When the US military was training me to kill* people, my instructors told me the same thing. They also told me that torso and head wounds produced by those tumbling rounds are almost invariably fatal without rapid treatment. The incapacitating wound is a feature, death is the ultimate aim (no pun intended).

*We weren't being taught to maim, we were being taught to kill. If the 5.56 NATO round isn't for killing, why were we using it?

This firearm discussion has veered w-a-a-a-y off-topic. If you'd like to continue it, please PM me or let's find/start another thread.


There are a number of advantages to wounding over maiming:
1. A wounded soldier has a much worse negative impact on morale than a clean death. The more screaming and pain so much the better. If he is neglected, even more morale damage.
2. If he is attended to, takes him and up to 4 others out of the firefight.
3. Considerable resources have to be expended for his care and well being.
4. Few things have as powerful impact on anti war sentiment than badly wounded/maimed/broken men. Images of such are incredibly powerful.

All things being equal, its always better to severely wound than outright kill. But all things aren't equal, and if you are holding back, you might end up not killing or severely wounding and the guy who you could have killed is now shooting back at you! If I was in a firefight, I sure would be trying to overkill them all!

The reasons for going to a 5.56 are really based on mass savings. There were a bunch of studies done regarding as to the average range of firefights and how much effective range infantry really need and used. Basically, going to a 5.56mm, lost some effective range, but it wasn't needed so it wasn't really a loss at all. And I don't think anything was really lost in terms of efficacy and if it does main more, well, so much the better.

But the bonus in mass savings are huge. They are cheaper, firstly. An infantryman can carry more ammo or carry less weight. And the entire logistics chain has to transport less mass. Its a big deal.

Now land mines are interesting though. Seeing as a landmine is triggered by footfall, its always under a foot when its exploded. Therefore we can put in just enough explosive to very reliably maim and not kill. And we do. Sure they weigh less and that's a huge deal as well. But they certainly are very explicitly designed to maim reliably and they do. Now are they designed to weigh less or to maim? They are certainly both of these things.

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Re: Private Prisons against crime

Postby johnie104 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:21 pm UTC

addams wrote:That is a cute link. I like it.

I am fairly sure the prisons in Norway are public.
How about a private US prison?

Are there really such things?
Where? Here?


Wikipedia tells me that the only countries with private prisons are the United Kingdom and the USA. There was a law to build private prisons in Israel, but it is reversed because it was deemed unconstitutional and that it violates basic human rights.

And I really wouldn't want to be in an American prison (private or not). The recidivism rate being what it is there is a significant change that I will come out a bigger criminal then I was.

If you agree that reintegrating criminals in society is an important part of the role of prisons, then you'll see that private prisons won't work. Reintegrating means that you have to spend money on them: giving education, supplying leasure activities, giving psychological councel. All cost money in the short term. In the long term it will save money for society, because it prevents further crime from happening. But this money saved for society is a bad thing for private prisons, because they have less prisoners (and these prisoners cost extra money, given that the government forces them to try and rehabilitate the inmates).
If you still really want to have private prisons, you have to incentivise them in such a way, that it is more profitable to have fewer criminals in the future. One of the ways to do that would be to give them a fixed amount of money, so that they earn more profit if they have less criminals, but then you have to prevent the prison from rejecting prisoners, and you can get a situation where a prison has too many prisoners and has the choice between turning a loss, or cutting on the benefits of inmates.
Another way to incentivise is to reward the prison if an ex-inmate doesn't commit a crime again. But if this reward is too small it is still profitable to get the ex-prisoner back in prison again. If the reward is high enough then the benefit to society is completely eaten up by the reward given to the private prison, in which case it would probably have been better if it was a public prison that you don't have to incentivize.

Tl;dr: Private prison are a bad idea.
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Re: Private Prisons against crime

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:22 pm UTC

Where was it, Alabama IIRC, that the state actually guarantees a certain occupancy rate to private prisons? Talk about perverse incentives...

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Re: Private Prisons against crime

Postby eran_rathan » Tue Dec 03, 2013 8:08 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Where was it, Alabama IIRC, that the state actually guarantees a certain occupancy rate to private prisons? Talk about perverse incentives...


Most states with contracts to private companies have such a thing, as despicable as it is.
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Re: Private Prisons against crime

Postby hot_sauce » Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:13 pm UTC

davidstarlingm wrote:
Hackfleischkannibale wrote:I was thinking about the American prison system, about how the prison companies' best interest is to incarcerate as many people as possible while spending as little as possible on each of them. And while normally I'd look for your average bleeding-heart, probably Scandinavian-tested solution to a problem like this, I had a different thought for once:

What if we made it the prison companies' best interest to reduce crime? How could we go about that?

Say each state would pay their prisons a fixed amount of money. That would mean that they'd maximize profits by minimizing the number of prisoners. Now, that plan probably has some egregious flaw, but is the idea of using economics to fight crime workable/good?

The fixed amount of money is tricky because the prison companies can only affect their supply of inmates indirectly. They can't directly release inmates, and they can't turn away inmates; the only way they can affect their supply either way is through long-term measures like tough-on-crime laws (increasing supply) or rehabilitation (decreasing supply).

I'm all about using some economics and greed to make it work; I'm just not sure how well this could be implemented. If the fixed amount of money isn't sufficient to provide for all the inmates, things are going to spiral out of control. There would be no way for prisons to get more funding if they actually needed it....and if there was, you wouldn't have any incentive for them to reduce crime.

Of course, you could completely privatize the entire justice system, meaning that the prisons themselves would be able to release inmates willy-nilly. But that's probably not a good idea.


Hello, I've been a long time lurker here and the topic prompted me to register and post.

The trouble with the free market is panacea mantra is that in practice it is implemented so badly. If anything prisons should be run like (publicly own) universities: the prisons are pain in incremental stages through the inmate's sentence, bad behavior, drug use, mistreatment by other inmates, etc results in loss of one of these incremental payments. These payments might continue for a certain period after release, any re-offending would similarly affect payment. Universities in the UK work on this principal with tuition fees being paid in stages, and universities loose out on a majority of fees if a student fails.

I guess if you want to use economic principals and theory to govern how a prison system works then you need to figure out how to incentivize what we want: low re-offending, lower drug-use, less violence etc etc.

The difficulty would be to strike the balance where we're not incentivizing keeping the most dangerous kinds of criminals out on the streets. To tackle these kinds of problems one must recognize that 'crime' is not just one thing, petty crime, gang-related crime, drugs offences, rape and murder are all very different things that require different 'treatments'.

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Re: Private Prisons against crime

Postby addams » Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:17 am UTC

Links! Damn it!
Links and Citations!

We used to have a voice that demanded citations?
Where is she? ... .. ... where?

Some kind of proof. Links and Citations; Please.
It seems most of us agree, "Prisons for private profit are a bad idea."

Is it something you people made up to break my heart? Or; Is it real?
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: Private Prisons against crime

Postby eran_rathan » Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:43 pm UTC

addams wrote:Links! Damn it!
Links and Citations!

We used to have a voice that demanded citations?
Where is she? ... .. ... where?

Some kind of proof. Links and Citations; Please.
It seems most of us agree, "Prisons for private profit are a bad idea."

Is it something you people made up to break my heart? Or; Is it real?



Sorry, I'm at work and didn't have a chance to add the links, and then my gorram laptop at home decided to not charge anymore :evil:
anywho:

http://www.inthepublicinterest.org/site ... Report.pdf
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addams
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Re: Private Prisons against crime

Postby addams » Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:14 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:
addams wrote:Links! Damn it!
Links and Citations!

We used to have a voice that demanded citations?
Where is she? ... .. ... where?

Some kind of proof. Links and Citations; Please.
It seems most of us agree, "Prisons for private profit are a bad idea."

Is it something you people made up to break my heart? Or; Is it real?



Sorry, I'm at work and didn't have a chance to add the links, and then my gorram laptop at home decided to not charge anymore :evil:
anywho:

http://www.inthepublicinterest.org/site ... Report.pdf

How ShawShank Redemption.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hB3S9bIaco

If this is true, what can be done? One person at a time?
And; System Wide at the same time?

It seems there may be work to be done. How is it done?
Who can say, "These men and women are Not my Brothers in Christ;
They are my cousins. Please treat them them like family."

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The good guy win in the Movies.
The good guys don't win in real life.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: Private Prisons against crime

Postby Adacore » Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:04 am UTC

The only way I can see to make a private prison system work is to significantly penalize all cases of recidivism in order to incentivize rehabilitation. Provide more money per prisoner initially, but then any time one of the former inmates from your prison reoffends (inside or outside the justice system), the prison company is fined.

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Re: Private Prisons against crime

Postby addams » Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:21 am UTC

Adacore wrote:The only way I can see to make a private prison system work is to significantly penalize all cases of recidivism in order to incentivize rehabilitation. Provide more money per prisoner initially, but then any time one of the former inmates from your prison reoffends (inside or outside the justice system), the prison company is fined.

ok. That is a dandy system.
We should be prison free in no time.

Step one: To prison with you!
Step two: Transgressions will be forth coming by a large number of you.
Why? Because, some large portion of the prison community are criminals of one kind or another.
This is a difficult population to work with.
Step three: Fine the prison for each transgression of any person that is now or ever has been inside its walls.
Make those fines stiff.

Step four: Open public institutions and put some money and effort into them.
These people may not be my favorite relatives in the extended Human Family, but they are family.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
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Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: Private Prisons against crime

Postby ucim » Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:54 am UTC

Adacore wrote:The only way I can see to make a private prison system work is to significantly penalize all cases of recidivism in order to incentivize rehabilitation. Provide more money per prisoner initially, but then any time one of the former inmates from your prison reoffends (inside or outside the justice system), the prison company is fined.
So... the prisons will lobby for long sentences, so that the question never comes up.

The whole idea of using prisoners as a profit center goes against the whole idea of justice, and the whole idea of civilized government.

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Re: Private Prisons against crime

Postby Adacore » Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:58 am UTC

I agree that it's a ridiculous idea, but if we're trying to make it work despite that, I can't see many other options.

Lobbying due to the prisons being private is, arguably, an entirely separate problem. If they banned the whole practice of bribing politicians then it would be much less of a concern. I mean, if you're assuming that lobbying exists and is effective, none of the solutions are going to work, because they'll reduce the profit for the prison companies and therefore be lobbied against.


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