Outsourcing Justice: Privatisation of Prisons and the Expansion of Social Control


Fulbright Flinders University Distinguished Chair in American Political Science, Prof Malcolm Feeley

Start Date

16th Oct 2012 6:00pm

End Date

16th Oct 2012 7:30pm


Stanley Burbury Theatre, University Centre, Sandy Bay campus

RSVP / Contact Information

E:; P: 6226 2521

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A public lecture to be presented by

Professor Malcolm Feeley

Fulbright Flinders University Distinguished Chair in American Political Science


“Outsourcing Justice: Privatisation of Prisons and the Expansion of Social Control”

“Over the past thirty years, the movement for privatisation of prisons has made substantial gains in the US, Great Britain, and Australia. As of 2010, over thirty states in the US have at least one private prison and many more privately operated jails; Great Britain has at least eleven private prisons; and Australia has at least seven.”

The United States and Australia lead the world in the development of private prisons, and this development has generated considerable controversy and resistance. This presentation acknowledges that privatisation is and has long been one of the major sources of innovation in the criminal justice system.

Malcolm Feeley will examine the historic and contemporary role of private entrepreneurs in developing innovations in the criminal process. He will review the transportation of English and Irish felons to North America in the eighteenth century, Jeremy Bentham’s plan for private prisons and its implication for American prisons of the nineteenth century, and contemporary developments such as private prisons in the US, England and Australia, private facilities for juvenile offenders, electronic monitoring, new forms of private probation and other forms of entrepreneurial activity in the criminal process.

Professor Malcolm Feeley, who teaches in the School of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program, University of California, Berkeley, is one of two Fulbright Flinders University Distinguished Chairs for 2012. He has written or edited over a dozen books, including The Process is the Punishment (1992), and Fighting for Political Liberalism: Comparative Studies of the Legal Complex (with Terrence Halliday and Lucien Karpik. 2008). Malcolm will come to Australia for five months to undertake research into privatisation in the criminal justice system in Australia as part of a comparative study he is undertaking of the subject in the US, England and Australia.

This Fulbright Scholarship was established through the support of Flinders University the U.S. Department of State and the Australian-American Fulbright Commission.

Presented in conjunction with