This chapter explores the involvement of for-profit organisations in the Belgian criminal justice system in a historical and contemporary context. It draws upon a documentary analysis and a series of interviews which have been conducted in the context of a research project on penal policy transfer. Privatisation usually has a specific meaning: 'the permanent transfer of an asset into the private sector', as what happened with gas and electricity services in Western countries in the 1980s. Punishment of criminal offenders was therefore never a fully exclusive state function. The idea that prisons could be built both faster and cheaper by involving commercial companies in the construction of infrastructure started to surface during that period. The Belgian minister of Justice Wathelet felt inspired by this idea of public-private partnerships, mainly for budgetary reasons and in order to save time. The construction of the prison facility in Bruges took much longer than expected and proved to be a financial disaster.