Sociology seminar: How Private Prison Companies Are Capitalizing From Drug Treatment

Sociology seminar: How Private Prison Companies Are Capitalizing From Drug Treatment

SOCIOLOGY SEMINAR SERIES AUTUMN 2017
 
The Department of Sociology and the School of Law invite you to a presentation by Dr Jill McCorkel, Department of Sociology and Criminology, Villanova University, USA
Title: The Profit in Loss: How Private Prison Companies Are Capitalizing From Drug Treatment
Date: Week 5, Wednesday 4th October
Time: 1.00 pm
Venue: F1030
 
 Over the course of the last two decades, drug treatment programming has become increasingly privatized in the U.S. correctional system.  Although rehabilitation was once considered an antidote to mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex, it is now a source of considerable profit.  Indeed, drug treatment and related rehabilitative and reentry services are a multi-billion dollar a year industry.  In this presentation, I trace the origin of this transformation to an unlikely source: American women’s prisons during the War on Drugs.  Correctional facilities for women provided a useful testing ground for new models of carceral drug treatment at a time when rehabilitation was otherwise rejected by policymakers as too “soft” a response to crime and drug use.  Gendered assumptions about punishment, rehabilitation, and addiction coupled with racial hierarchies paved the way for private vendors to develop, market, and ultimately expand a financially lucrative form of carceral drug treatment to a broad array of correctional venues and populations. 
 
About the Speaker
 
Jill McCorkel is Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminology and a faculty associate of the Africana Studies Program at Villanova University, Villanova, PA.  Her research investigates the social and political consequences of mass incarceration.  Her book, Breaking Women: Gender, Race, and the New Politics of Imprisonment (New York University Press, 2013), explores the consequences of the War on Drugs and “get tough” policies for women prisoners.  She is currently studying how variations in family law and children’s rights influence prison visitation policies in the United States and Ireland.