Study: Private prisons result in more inmates, longer sentences

The Labour Economics study suggests two potential reasons for the increase: corruption and increased capacity.

  • After adopting strict sentencing laws in the '80s and '90s, many states have turned to for-profit prisons to handle growing prison populations.
  • A new study in Labour Economics found that privately-run prisons correlate with a rise in incarceration rates and sentence lengths.
  • While evidence is mixed, private prisons do not appear to improve recidivism or cost less than state-run facilities.
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    Here are 3 things white people can do right now to help #BLM

    Remaining silent is being complicit.

    Photo by Scott Heins/Getty Images
    • Protests around the world are demanding an end to police discrimination and violence against black citizens in America.
    • Author and activist Dax-Devlon Ross offers advice on how white people can help during this moment.
    • Ross's suggestions include thinking and voting locally, supporting black-owned businesses, and practicing self-reflection.
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    Algorithms associating appearance and criminality have a dark past

    We'd like to think that judging people's worth based on the shape of their head is a practice that's behind us.

    PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP via Getty Images

    'Phrenology' has an old-fashioned ring to it. It sounds like it belongs in a history book, filed somewhere between bloodletting and velocipedes.

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    What elements make up our idea of justice?

    In classical liberalism, justice leaves society better off by providing a chance for a better life.

    • How can we ensure people get what they are due, in terms of justice?
    • Philosophy professor at University of Arizona, David Schmidtz says the answer to this question needs context. Who is the person we're referring to, and to what are we responding?
    • Some elements of justice include equality, returning favors, and the right to air grievances.
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    How does the rule of law promote a free society?

    In classical liberal philosophy, individual pursuit of happiness is made possible by a framework of law.

    • The rule of law as a principle has a philosophical history before it was popularized by classical liberalism, which can be traced back to Greek philosopher Aristotle.
    • The classical liberal conception of laws draws upon this pre-history but differs slightly. Yes, the end goal is the common good, however "goodness" varies by individual.
    • In this way of thinking, instead of telling us what will make us happy, law serves as the framework that allows us to pursue our own unique happiness.
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