Update (2/23/17): Attorney General Jeff Sessions withdrew an Obama administration policy to reduce and ultimately end the use of private prisons by the Justice Department. Handing control of prisons over to for-profit companies is a recipe for abuse and neglect.
This memo is a further sign that under Trump and Sessions, the United States may be headed for a new federal prison boom. We will continue to push the Trump administration to reconsider its decision and ultimately end the government’s use of privatized prisons.
In incredible and momentous news, the Department of Justice ordered the Bureau of Prisons to begin phasing out the use of private prisons. Private prisons are inhumane profit machines where the bottom line is often more important than people’s lives. Our justice system must be rid of them – and this is an amazing first step!
With momentum on our side from this victory, let’s turn to the next challenge: the Department of Homeland Security’s even more lucrative system of for-profit immigration detention centers.
DHS is the private prison industry’s single biggest client. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) oversees dozens of immigration detention facilities operated by the same companies that will soon lose their Bureau of Prisons contracts.
The Justice Department made it clear that there is nothing fair or just about private prisons. A standard has been set – and DHS must adhere to it. We will no longer tolerate our tax dollars propping up the abusive and inhumane private prison industry.
We need to strike while the iron is hot. Take action to end the abuses of private prisons – tell DHS to phase them out NOW.