As a libertarian, I of course want as many things privatized as possible. This, however, is not one of them. Now I do realize and for most things this would dictate my opinion, that they are the same product for cheaper. But for this, I don’t think we should risk the lobbying of lawmakers to increase crime, and thus decrease overall liberty for everyone.
Now lobbying would work both ways regardless, public or not, as workers unions at prisons would still lobby for more laws and more arrests, because public or not they would make more money with more prisoners. I think that if we had a more limited government that was more restricted on what laws they can pass, than I wouldn’t mind it privatized. But for as long as the government can make laws on just about anything, I don’t think that the private sector should be dealing with prisoners.
I of course want less prisons and less prisoners via the elimination of existing laws and restrictions on what kind of laws can be passed, especially regarding drug laws and the war on drugs. As prisons are expensive to maintain as are the lives of the prisoners. So with everything accounted for I’m leaning towards the Public Sector, but I’m still a little torn due to them being cheaper private and also more limiting of government power even if its something only intertwined with the lives of criminals.
Now as far as the average libertarian view it seems to be leaning towards private including that of one of the 2016 candidates for the libertarian presidential nomination, former governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson. In an article written on WTVM discussing Johnson’s prison views among other things. Quoted from Johnson in the article is “I think good government is offering goods and services at lower prices,” Johnson said. “In the case of New Mexico, where we privatized half the state prisons, it was the same goods and services delivered for two-thirds the cost. In my opinions, that’s good government.” For this very reason, I am a bit torn as to which I’d rather have.
When you take into consideration the cheaper prices,the possibility of lobbying on either end, I’m just not sure which I would personally choose from. But I’m leaning towards Public Sector on this particular issue. I think involving profit with crime rates should be avoided as much as possible in the current law heavy and growing police state.