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Prison Privatization in the United Kingdom

15th May 2003

This article, which forms a chapter of Capitalist Punishment: Prison Privatization & Human Rights, Coyle, Campbell and Neufeld eds., provides a brief overview of how the UK has progressed from implementing one experimental prison management contract to having Europe’s most privatized criminal justice system.

The author observes that, although the British government remains committed to private sector provision of prisons, the overall claims for private prisons remain unproven. He notes that prison governers have expressed the view that prisons should be brought back into the public sector, and that an overwhelming majority of the general public has agreed with this view.

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