The Department of Justice will stop contracting with private prisons, the department announced Thursday morning. The decision follows the release of a report from the DOJ inspector general that showed private prisons were SEVERELY lacking in safety, security, and oversight. Currently private prisons incarcerate 12 percent of federal inmates.
The announcement follows an EXCELLENT investigation by Mother Jones, written by Shane Bauer, who was imprisoned in Iran for over two years. Bauer went undercover as a correctional officer at a private prison in Louisiana, and found serious deficiencies in staffing and security. The investigation also documented a higher rate of violence than the prison reported. Last week’s DOJ report found that private prisons are more violent than federal prisons.
As of December 2015, private prisons incarcerated about 22,600 federal inmates. The news of the DOJ’s decision prompted a quick downturn in stock prices for the two largest private prison companies.
— Alexander C. Kaufman (@AlexCKaufman) August 18, 2016
This is a GREAT move by the federal government, and a serious blow to the prison industrial complex. Let’s hope municipalities and states considering doing the same.