This project examines the dramatic changes in the American prison system that resulted from privatization and deregulation. Using Wendy Brown’s conceptualization of neoliberal rationality, this study focuses on the important neoliberal transformation that resulted in a dramatic increase in privatization of prisons. This transformation has affected more than the institutions themselves, as some argue that even individual rationality has been transformed by neoliberalism. The purpose of this study is to analyze the transformation of American prisons from publicly run to privately operated. The analysis includes how this has affected American prisons and the rationalities of those who advocate on behalf of and against these private businesses. Specifically, this study examines the largest private prison company in the United States: The Corrections Corporation of America. The focus is on not just the macro level, but also on the micro level transformations that affected the lives of inmates, families, and their communities.


Weaver, Mark

Second Advisor

Moskowitz, Eric


Political Science


Civil Rights and Discrimination | Criminal Procedure | Government Contracts | Law Enforcement and Corrections

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis Exemplar



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