Private Prisons in America

A Critical Race Perspective
Author: Michael A. Hallett
The role of for-profit prisons in the history of oppression and legal discrimination aimed primarily at African American men
Paper – $28
Publication Date: March 2006
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About the Book

Under the auspices of a governmentally sanctioned "war on drugs," incarceration rates in the United States have risen dramatically since 1980. Increasingly, correctional administrators at all levels are turning to private, for-profit corporations to manage the swelling inmate population. Policy discussions of this trend toward prison privatization tend to focus on cost-effectiveness, contract monitoring, and enforcement, but in his Private Prisons in America, Michael A. Hallett reveals that these issues are only part of the story. Demonstrating that imprisonment serves numerous agendas other than "crime control," Hallett's analysis suggests that private prisons are best understood not as the product of increasing crime rates, but instead as the latest chapter in a troubling history of discrimination aimed primarily at African American men.

About the Author

Michael A. Hallett is an associate professor of criminal justice and director of the Center for Race and Juvenile Justice Policy at the University of North Florida. He is the coauthor of U.S. Criminal Justice Interest Groups: Institutional Profiles with Dennis J. Palumbo.


Author is recipient of the Gandhi, King, Ikeda (GKI) Award (2006) given by the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College. Author received an Honorable Mention Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights (2007)