Captive Populations: Caring for the Young, the Sick, the Imprisoned, and the Elderly

Captive Populations: Caring for the Young, the Sick, the Imprisoned, and the Elderly

Captive Populations: Caring for the Young, the Sick, the Imprisoned, and the Elderly

Captive Populations: Caring for the Young, the Sick, the Imprisoned, and the Elderly

Synopsis

President Bush's "1000 points of light," with its deemphasis on federal services flames this decade's debate over the effectiveness of public versus private services. Does the private sector provide better services more efficiently than the public sector? Captive Populations examines this debate by comparing for-profit, nonprofit, and government service delivery for four dependent population groups. Focus is placed on services provided to these groups: education and child care, health-care systems, criminal justice services, and long-term care for the elderly.

Excerpt

During the last ten to fifteen years American policy experts and to an even greater extent, business leaders and politicians have been discussing the role of the public sector in the delivery of various health and human services. Business leaders have questioned the expansion of the public sector, a trend that has been under way in the United States in many service areas since the 1930s. Politicians, especially conservatives associated with the political success of Ronald Reagan in his presidential bid in 1980, have questioned the growth of government and raised the question of whether certain services traditionally provided by government over the past forty years could better be provided by the for-profit, private business sector. Such questioning has been combined with a period of taxpayer revolt and attempts to reduce taxation rates at the federal level and also in many states.

The goal of this book is to contribute to the debate over modes of service delivery in various human service areas. One policy issue in health and human service areas is: What is the best modality for the delivery of services -- should these services be delivered as public services, private nonprofit services, or for-profit services? This book contributes to the debate in four specific health and human service delivery areas: education, prisons, health care, and health-related services for the elderly.

Our reason for choosing these service areas (and not such others as transportation or postal services) is a desire to focus on those services people tend to receive personally, as individuals, and generally require because of specific life circumstances or age, rather than at all points in time. These are services for populations increasingly reliant on govern-

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