From the early 19th century through to the late 20th century, the power to penalize persons became increasingly more invested in province governments ; private endeavor and penalty belonged to the yesteryear it was thought ( Harding, 1997 ) . However, in recent decennaries, private prisons have all of a sudden reappeared on the penal docket of several Western societies, including the penal system in New Zealand. This issue has sparked argument on whether or non the control of a public service as sensitive and of import as a nation’s penal system should be placed in the custodies of private corporations ; some people believe that public-run establishments are non cost efficient and that these steps will salvage taxpayers money, while others believe that the denationalization of prisons could take to corruptness and the abuse of penalty ( Harding, 1997 ) . In this context, Richard Harding ( 1997 ) sets out to research the issues and parts that private prisons have generated to tutelary patterns, criterions and aims ( Harding, 1997 ) . In his book ‘Private Prisons and Public Accountability’ Harding ( 1997 ) investigates the growing of private prisons and considers whether they have become built-in to the entire system and how betterments can be made ( Harding, 1997 ) . Underpining his statement is that, decently regulated and to the full accountable private prisons could take to betterment within the public prison system and the entire system as a whole ( Harding, 1997 ) . Looking closely at ‘private prisons and public answerability, ’ this paper identifies and elaborates on the cardinal subjects and statements portrayed in Harding’s ( 1997 ) book, followed by a treatment of the virtues and defects of his publication.

The gap chapter commences by specifying the issue of the denationalization of prisons and researching the beginnings of private prisons and their outgrowth around the universe, peculiarly in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. Harding ( 1997 ) illustrates the exponential addition in the figure of private prisons established and the figure of captives they hold. This is followed by a brief treatment on the security degrees at private prisons where Harding ( 1997 ) explores whether these prisons are transporting their tutelary weight in footings of the security demands of the entire system every bit good as whether the administrative and legal constructions inhibit policy reversals by authoritiess ; in footings of funding agreements and the types of contracts they constitute ( Harding, 1997 ) . The threshold inquiry that is explored in this chapter is whether denationalization has yet attained such significance that, for all practical intents, it is irreversible ( Harding, 1997 ) . In the 2nd chapter, the issue of answerability is explored in deepness which is arguably one of the most combative issues in the argument over private prisons ( Harding, 1997 ) . The chapter commences by researching the factors that underlie modern-day moves towards denationalization, followed by the designation of the precursors to the push for denationalization ; viz. the burgeoning prison populations ; overcrowding and deteriorating conditions ; and the ideological antipathy for public sector enterprises to call a few ( Harding, 1997 ) . The moral riddles and the impact of denationalization upon penal policy and pattern every bit good as the several penal policy deductions are besides explored ( Harding, 1997 ) . One of the important inquiries in Harding’s ( 1997 ) book is how one sector “cross-fertilises with the other, to the common benefit of each and to the advantage of the system as a whole” ( Harding, 1997, p. 143 ) , and it is here that Harding’s ( 1997 ) impression of ‘cross-fertilisation’ becomes peculiarly important. Harding ( 1997 ) suggests that the opening up of the private sector may rise consciousness of how sloppy public answerability has frequently been in the yesteryear which allows private contractors to utilize both private and public prisons “as a accelerator for betterment across the whole prison system, ” and vice-versa ( Harding, 1997, p. 165 ) . Consequently, Harding ( 1997 ) proposes 10 dogmas of answerability which he asserts “the province must necessitate of private contractors and which citizens must necessitate of the province, ” ( Harding, 1997, p. 27 ) ; a impression he argues maximises the answerability of private prisons. Following on from this is the theory of ‘capture’ ; a impression used to depict state of affairss where regulators serve the involvements of the industry instead than function the populace ( Harding, 1997 ) . In this chapter, Harding argues that private prison systems are capable to some grade of external monitoring ( Harding, 1997 ) . However, he illustrates some illustrations of systems in which there is either no proper independent proctor or where the proctors have been ‘captured’ by the system they are supposed to supervise ( Harding, 1997 ) . Consequently, Harding ( 1997 ) identifies the most effectual theoretical account of ordinance. This is followed by a elaborate treatment on the issue of answerability mechanisms in public-sector prisons and their pertinence to private prisons. A elaborate scrutiny of constitutional, parliamentary, legislative, judicial, inquisitorial, administrative and other official mechanisms is besides provided.

In the following portion of the book, Harding ( 1997 ) discusses the issue of allowing the contract and puting its footings. He examines the different types of contracts every bit good as discoursing the substantial footings of differing contracts. The issue of measuring commands is besides discussed, where Harding ( 1997 ) takes the reader through the different phases of privatising a prison ; viz. taking the size and security evaluation of a new prison every bit good as what they criteria are and how contractors are selected, to call a few ( Harding, 1997 ) . This is followed by an geographic expedition of the issue of prison forces, the disposal of penalty, and the impact of denationalization upon penal policy. Harding ( 1997 ) so discusses the issue of fiscal answerability and control. In this chapter, he moves off from the common preposition that denationalization is about cut downing spendings and discusses that the alternate signifier of service bringing does non stand or fall merely by this outlook ( Harding, 1997 ) . This chapter besides explores how contracts are managed, what countenances exist when a contract is breached, external and internal answerability mechanisms every bit good as market forces ( Harding, 1997 ) . In the last chapters of the book, Harding ( 1997 ) compares public and private prisons in footings of the perceptual experiences of captives, directors and staff. He explores the different constructions of prisons, the different types of captives every bit good as locations to call a few. This is followed by an geographic expedition of particular tutelary issues. Harding evaluates some of the most hard issues of tutelary direction to determine whether the private sector is capable of covering with the tutelary issues efficaciously or whether the prison government, or the whole system itself, will be put at hazard ( Harding, 1997 ) . Such issues include overcrowding, perturbations and public violences, drug usage every bit good as control of flights to call a few. Harding ( 1997 ) so explores in deepness whether private prisons will better the entire prison and discusses the barriers that are in topographic point against alteration. Assorted theoretical accounts of answerability which have been generated by private sector engagement are explored, in which Harding ( 1997 ) suggests a theoretical account which, he believes, can take, via cross-fertilization, to increased answerability in the populace sector and improved prison conditions ( Harding, 1997 ) . This is followed by an geographic expedition on the future growing of denationalization in which Harding ( 1997 ) explores the enlargement within bing markets and the potency for new markets in other parts including Europe, Africa, and other geo-political parts.

In sum uping the contents of Harding’s ( 1997 ) publication, it is apparent that many of the initial concerns over private prisons are explored. Using extended fieldwork and pulling upon published literature and a scope of authorities paperss, every bit good as treatments with public and private governments, Harding ( 1997 ) does a competent occupation in specifying prison denationalization and supplying a utile debut to the development of private prisons. In the beginning chapters of his book, Harding ( 1997 ) provides a wealth of new information on the operation of private prisons and the extent of denationalization throughout the universe, where he is able to give both positive and negative experiences from states including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. What was peculiarly attractive was the usage of tabular arraies throughout the book which are peculiarly helpful in exemplifying an overview of the growing of private prisons in all five states from the early 1990s. Following on from this, Harding’s ( 1997 ) book offers some new penetrations into the issue of answerability where he provides some interesting information on the answerability of private prisons abroad to demo how differing answerability mechanisms can assist or impede denationalization attempts. What is besides appealing is Harding’s ( 1997 ) theoretical account of answerability for the sum system which is explained in his concluding chapter. Harding’s ( 1997 ) book besides offers an penetration into his impression of ‘cross-fertilization’ , which is really interesting as it shows a manner in which the province is able to move constructively with the private contractors to better public presentation across the whole system. What is besides interesting is Harding’s ( ( 1997 ) chapter on contracts and his utile geographic expedition of how contracts are managed and what countenances exist when a contract is breached. What was rather refering about Harding’s ( 1997 ) book was his impression of ‘capture’ as it shows that there is no trust between the province and the private contractor which is of major concern. Another defect of Harding’s ( 1997 ) book was less descriptive and more thematic and appraising. Furthermore, his research illustrated the positive benefits of denationalization and non so much the negatives.

Overall, Harding’s ( 1997 ) book comprehensively addresses the issues environing the usage of private prisons and provides relevant and appropriate grounds that in private run prisons are a alteration for the positive. However without farther research and old ages of relevant trialling within a figure of prisons, the positives of this alteration may later be jeopardized as the sector continues to turn or answerability mechanisms become labored. Consequently, Harding’s ( 1997 ) work is an of import rating of the early experience of prison denationalization and should be seen as the footing for farther research. It is a powerful and valuable book which is brave in its geographic expedition of private prisons and is an indispensable reading for all those with an involvement in how private prisons operate in pattern and the function of the province in Western societies.

Plants Cited

Harding, R. W. ( 1997 ) .Private Prisons and Public Accountability.Buckingham: Open University Press.