Prison privatization is rapidly spreading in many Western countries as governments seek to manage burgeoning prison populations within the constraints of a neo-liberal political agenda. But how is public well-being served when prisons are run for pofit? This volume discusses privatization in its historical and ideological context, and in relation to United nations standards and rules. It examines the adverse effects of private prisons on physical and sexual abuse, health care, education, training and rehabilitation, as corporations seek to maximize profits and describes the impact of cost-cutting on prison staff, paying special attention to the effect on women, children and minorities. It also offers a glimpse into the transnational spread of privatized incarceration, as developing nations, bound by IMF restrictions, are forced into the hands of transnational corporations to the detriment of local alternatives.