Marketising criminal justice
A now considerable body of work describes the political, economic, and sociological circumstances in which many governments have, since the 1960s, reimagined and reconfigured how their citizens access public services (e.g. Sennett 2006; Sandel 2013; Stuckler and Basu 2013). This includes criminal justice. Provision through government bureaucracy has been replaced widely by ‘delivery’ through ‘service providers’ who compete against each other in markets for public sector business. Manifestations of market thinking include privatized ownership and management, private sector design, finance, construction, and management of whole institutions, outsourcing or contracting out of core or ancillary functions, and competition or market testing processes in which public and private service providers are compared and Service Level Agreements introduced to govern provision. The language with which these varied processes of marketization are described is often imprecise and ideologically charged (Harding 1997: 1; Johnston 1992: 214– 20).