A model of public accountability must satisfactorily cover the ten key tenets identified and discussed. These are:

The distinction between the allocation and the administration of punishment must be strictly maintained, with the private sector’s role being confined to its administration.

Penal policy must not be driven by those who stand to make a profit out of it.

The activities of the private sector and their relations with government must be open and publicly accessible.

What is expected of the private sector must be clearly specified.

A dual system must not be allowed to evolve in which there is a run-down and demoralized public sector and a vibrant private sector.

Independent research and evaluation, with untrammelled publication rights, must be built into private sector arrangements.

Custodial regimes, programmes and personnel must be culturally appropriate.

There must be control over the probity of private contractors.

There must be financial accountability.

The state must in the last resort be able to reclaim private prisons.