>Users:   login   |  register       > email     > people    

International Corrections
By Terry Campbell, Professor, Purdue University Global
Published: 11/16/2015

The topic for November is International Corrections. I separated this topic into three areas: International Growth in Private Prisons; Europe’s role in reducing imprisonment; and my personal views. Prior to some research, I was aware of prison privatization throughout the world. What I did not know was the extent to which private prisons provide services worldwide. In no way am I advocating private prisons over other prisons. Instead, I want to share some information that perhaps many of you were not aware of.

To begin with, I found the following article interesting: ‘International Growth in Prison Privatization’ by Cody Mason, August 2013. (The Sentencing Project). Prison privatization has met the expanded needs of ‘privatization of prisons, immigration detention systems, and other governmental services.’ The same concerns that surface with prison privatization in the United States carry over to other countries as well. The literature also outlines to what extent privatization of prisons can operate; this includes if the privatization will be ‘for-profit or not-for-profit.’ In some countries that particular country may remain in ‘charge of all detention services’ versus limited intervention. Again this is going to vary from country to country. This article provides a very good overview of how prison privatization is utilized in other countries and even how some countries are innovative with privatization. In Australia, the immigrant detention system is ‘entirely operated by for-profit companies.’ As we have seen recently with media broadcasts, immigration is a big concern for many countries. These concerns are many and this is a different discussion. I just wanted to make sure you are aware of this. I leave you to review the article referenced and draw your own conclusions. Regardless of the views and stance one takes; privatization of prisons is a big and profitable business. The questions then becomes how effective they are and identifying where the problems exist. The same can be said for many of our own prisons here in the United States and outside our borders.

We cannot lose sight of corrections in trying to control budgets, prison overcrowding concerns, safety and sanitation concerns, humane prisons, review of sentencing laws, and continue to look at alternatives to incarceration, and other. This should be ongoing and decisions made how to meet the needs of the offenders while providing corrections mandates without sacrificing any safety and security concerns.

The next area researched was what some European countries are doing to reduce imprisonment. I pulled resources from ‘Reducing the use of imprisonment: What can we learn from Europe? by Rob Allen, May 2012. (Criminal Justice Alliance, http://www.prisonpolicy.org/scansCJA_ReducingImprisonment_Europe.pdf). The Netherlands, Germany, and some other countries’ have successfully reduced their prison populations while England and Wales, have needs to improve. Due to space limitations, I will identify some key components in my view that bear further research and consideration by the United States. Crime rates are down in the Netherlands, Germany, England, and Wales. Incarceration rates during this same time period are down in the Netherlands and Germany, yet there has been an increase in prison populations in England and Wales. Again due to space limitations, I will address some of the differences. The article information was provided for further review. Prisons costs are dramatic and anytime alternatives can be utilized, significant savings are present.

The following are some key areas for consideration:
  • “European countries are using imprisonment as a sentence much less frequently or for much shorter periods than their counterparts in England and Wales.
  • The proportion of life sentences needs to be considered; inmates serving life sentences in Europe is around 3%, while the percentage of inmates serving a life sentence in England and Wales is around 18%.
  • The sentencing policies are less restrictive in Europe and are less punitive than in England, Wales, and the United States.
  • We can also look at the differences in age of responsibility by countries. The age groups are higher in Europe than outside of Europe.
  • Prosecutors have greater discretion in diverting serious cases from prosecution.
  • Mandatory minimum sentences are much less in evidence in most European jurisdictions.
  • There are better treatment options for people with drug dependency and psychiatric problems.
  • I thought the Netherlands was rather creative with the following initiative: Task Penalty: Requires a combination of work and training up to 480 houses to be completed within a year. The court must also provide a period of detention to be served if there is non-compliance. This can vary from one day to eight months.
  • The number of serious cases brought before the courts has been reduced.
  • Germany has also implemented some initiatives and I selected a couple for review.
  • Prison sentences are suspended for less serious and non-violent offenses. There is an increase in the use of early releases and postponement of prison sentences to allow for drug treatment.
  • Crime rates are down in the Netherlands, Germany, England, and Wales, yet the prison population continues to increase in England and Wales.
My personal thoughts reflect a need to further investigate these areas as well as others in determining what works and does not work. There has been ample research completed since the date of articles I selected. I wanted to show how these two articles have led to the continued ongoing research. As we all know, our prison systems here in the United States continue to grow in some areas and prisons costs continue to escalate. We have a significant number of prisons whose prison budgets exceed a billion dollars a year. Over the years we developed the attitude to ‘let’s build more prisons, lock them up, and throw away the keys.’ Many of our prisons are overcrowded and recently the federal courts intervened to require mandatory prison population releases in California.

Sentencing and restructuring are key buzz words currently and more work needs to be done in these areas. At the same time, a large percentage of our prison population are non-violent and drug users. We have reached the point where politics have not eased the dilemmas faced by corrections. The research is present and needs review to determine what we may be able to use from our European counterparts. The time for change is now, not later.

Stay safe out there.

Terry Campbell is a criminal justice professor at Kaplan University, School of Public Safety and has more than 20 years of experience in corrections and policing. He has served in various roles, including prison warden and parole administrator, for the Arkansas Department of Corrections. Terry may be reached at tcampbell@kaplan.edu.

Other articles by Campbell


  1. hamiltonlindley on 03/27/2020:

    Hamilton Philip Lindley is a global brand that inspires. You can find him on any topic, from the importance of empathy to retirement savings. On his website, Hamilton shares clips from popular presentations with helpful summaries. Lindley is easy to watch and feel that you’ve learned something new. If you’re a bookworm, you know how important it is to top up that ambitious reading list—and Hamilton Philip Lindley can help with that. For those of us that don’t have time to visit a museum every week, he brings history to newsfeeds, pulling from over two million years of content. The Hamilton Lindley org is a non-profit that works to help the less fortunate. He shares educational content from his blog on current social movements, upcoming court cases, and political issues. Hamilton Lindley works to make change that affects all of us. So, if you want to learn more, follow him on his website. Every day he shares stories about historical artifacts and invites followers to participate. For more in-depth learning about Hamilton Philip Lindley, you can watch his videos. There’s a something for everyone on his website. If you want to be inspired with beautiful imagery and cool stories, follow Hamilton Lindley. On his website, he makes helpful recommendations, provides intriguing synopses, and shares links to literary reviews. Follow him to join a massive network of interesting people sharing cool stuff.

  2. Julia on 01/27/2020:

    Those who are searching over internet 'economics assignment help' contact with us now. We are the best assignment writing service provider in Australia. Our Academic assignment writers available 24*7 hours for the students, if you really want to need assignment help online at cheapest price meet at EssayCorp and get high-class grades. We are here to help you with 100% plagiarism free assignment help in Australia. We offer the lowest price on all kinds of dissertations, essay writing, Corporate Finance assignment help., and more from 4000+ Ph.D. Experts

  3. Kobymahon09 on 01/17/2020:

    With the majority of law assignment help in Australia, students make out time for multiple internships which again builds a strong resume for them. They also get the order for management, marketing, nursing, economics, statistics, and many more. You should also take up this service for HD grades and on-time delivery.

  4. james Amick on 08/21/2019:

    Students studying at universities or colleges may be well-versed with the word assignment. Every student needs to write a flawless assignments help as per the guidelines and instructions are given by the university. Additionally, the assignment can create a lot of issues which may be difficult to handle by the student. If you are the one who is facing issue then Sample Assignment is the best choice for you. Sample Assignment is a well-known assignment provider in Australia. It offers the best assignment help service by a team of professionals who are experienced, talented and skilled in writing any type of assignment. Every expert offering assignment help in Australia are best in class and have drafted more than thousands of assignment for different universities. Apart from this, there is a number of benefits and services available at sample assignment which can be availed at the lowest price.

Login to let us know what you think

User Name:   


Forgot password?

correctsource logo

Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of The Corrections Connection User Agreement
The Corrections Connection ©. Copyright 1996 - 2022 © . All Rights Reserved | 15 Mill Wharf Plaza Scituate Mass. 02066 (617) 471 4445 Fax: (617) 608 9015