Policing for 'Profit:' The Political Economy of Private Prisons and Asset Forfeiture
21 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2017
Date Written: August 1, 2017
Criminal justice reform has fast become a popular issue. Two areas of concern regard the use of private prisons, correctional facilities owned an operated by private agencies as opposed to government entities, and the use of civil asset forfeiture by police. In each of these cases, the “profit motive” is often blamed for the shortcomings and problems associated with each of these elements of the criminal justice system. Using the tools of economics, we explain how the problems surrounding private prisons and civil asset forfeiture are not the result of private enterprise, but the result of the institutional structure of government and the perverse incentives created by the War on Drugs.
Keywords: War on Drugs, War on Terror, Civil Asset Forfeiture, Private Prisons, Private Enterprise, Economics of Bureaucracy
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