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Through a brief analysis of punishment theory as well as the history of punishment in the United States, this work will focus on the current state of the punishment system

Through a brief analysis of punishment theory as well as the history of punishment in the United States, this work will focus on the current state of the punishment system that is characterized by a recent era of mass incarceration. The policies of mass incarceration coupled with economic downturns, has led to the emergence of an extremely profitable private prison industry. The prominence of this industry raises questions of legitimacy as well as questions of the interests that are being represented through apparent legislative manipulation via a powerful lobby.

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