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Banking on Rehab: Private Prison Vendors and the Reconfiguration of Mass Incarceration

After Imprisonment

ISBN: 978-1-78769-270-1, eISBN: 978-1-78769-269-5

Publication date: 6 November 2018


In this study, I explore what happens “after incarceration” from the perspective of private prison vendors. Using the experience of women prisoners in California in the aftermath of Brown vs Plata (2011) and Realignment, I trace the rise and growing popularity of carceral rehabilitation programs. Although rehabilitation was once considered an antidote to mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex, it now fuels the growth of private prison companies and provides a stable source of profitability. This analysis suggests the reconfiguration of mass incarceration in the US rather than its dissolution.




An earlier version of this chapter was presented at Northeastern University School of Law’s symposium on Sex, Gender, and the Carceral State and at University of Akron’s Sociology Lecture Series. I benefited greatly from the questions, comments, and suggestions offered by participants and audience members at each event. Thanks to Austin Sarat, Brad Mellinger, and anonymous reviewers for their enthusiastic comments and useful advice on this manuscript.


McCorkel, J.A. (2018), "Banking on Rehab: Private Prison Vendors and the Reconfiguration of Mass Incarceration", After Imprisonment (Studies in Law, Politics, and Society, Vol. 77), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 49-67.



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