The U.S. Justice Department will stop using private prisons after concluding that they do not have the same level of safety or quality as penitentiaries run by the Bureau of Prisons.
Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates sent a memo on Thursday that said officials must not renew — or at least must significantly scale back — their contracts with private prisons. The move would cut back the country’s reliance on privately run prisons until they are out of service, the Washington Post reports.
Yates’ announcement follows on the heels of last week’s report from the department’s Inspector General that private prisons score far worse than public facilities in areas of safety and quality of life.
“[Private prisons] simply do not provide the same level of correctional services, programs, and resources; they do not save substantially on costs; and as noted in a recent report by the Department’s Office of Inspector General, they do not maintain the same level of safety and security,” wrote Yates in the Thursday memo.
There are currently 195,000 inmates in private prisons, down from 220,000 in 2013, according to Yates’ memo. Yates detailed how the Bureau of Prisons turned down renewing a private contract of 1,200 prison beds three weeks ago, and today reduced a pending contract from 10,800 beds to a maximum of 3,600 beds. Those reductions will lead to three private prisons closing during the next year, to cut the total number of private prisoners in 2013 by more than 50% by May 2017.
Well this is great news.
Prions for profit was never a good idea and it encouraged at least some judges to provide stricter sentences in return for kickbacks.
Hopefully with prisons no longer seen as profit centers there will be fewer incarcerations and a focus on rehabilitation instead of simply warehousing these people until their sentence is over or they die.
Gee I am so glad I don't own any stock in private prisons.