DOJ Begins Process to Reduce—and Ultimately End—Use of Private Prisons

August 18, 2016 | by NCCD

Prison Hallway, Cells on one side 2_PNG

Citing the lower levels of safety and security offered by private prison facilities compared to federal prisons, the US Department of Justice has directed the Federal Bureau of Prisons to greatly reduce the private prison population over the next year. In a memo released today, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates instructs the bureau to decline the renewal of contracts with private prisons as they come to term, or at least reduce the number of beds contracted with private companies, calling these steps toward “ultimately ending our use of privately operated prisons.” An NCCD report published in 2012, Prison Bed Profiteers: How Corporations Are Reshaping Criminal Justice in the US, looked at the conflict between the profit motives of the private prison industry and the goals of prison reform. For a recent, in-depth account from inside a private prison, read “My Four Months as a Private Prison Guard,” written for Mother Jones by 2013 Media for a Just Society Award winner Shane Bauer.