The U.S. Justice Department has announced that they will no longer be housing inmate in private prisons, just a week after a report discovered that privately run prisons have worse safety records than those run by the Bureau of Prison.
Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates has instructed federal officials to significantly reduce reliance on private prisons. The private facilities, for example, had higher rates of assaults - both by inmates on other inmates and by inmates on staff - and had eight times as many contraband cellphones confiscated each year on average, according to the report. There's also no impact on private immigration detention facilities, since those fall under the Department of Homeland Security, not the DOJ.
While private prisons might have been useful in supplementing federally run facilities for some time, Yates noted they had proved less effective over time.
The feds made their groundbreaking decision after studying the efficacy of private prisons in America, and issuing a critical report of how those prisons function. There are now 13 privately-run federal correctional institutions under the Justice Department.
We hope that this announcement will inspire Congress to provide the Bureau of Prisons sufficient resources to house and rehabilitate inmates in federal institutions, and work on meaningful reforms to decrease the overcrowding in our nation's prisons.
She predicted that by May 1, 2017, the population throughout privately-operated federal facilities would be less than 14,200. The private prison industry is a major contributor to Republican political campaigns, particularly in recent years. Most prisoners in the USA are held in state-run facilities, with only about 12 percent of the US inmate population held in private, for-profit prisons. The prisons are managed by three companies: the Corrections Corporation of America, GEO Group, Inc. and the Management Training Corporation.
However, winnings federal contracts in the U.S.is a massive portion of both companies' business, and those days are officially numbered.
The Justice Department has launched an effort to reduce, and eventually discontinue, its use of privately operated prisons, according to the department's second-in-command.
Still, the decision is a swift reaction to the OIG report- one that will surely please liberals and criminal justice reformers who have decried private prisons for years.