US DOJ says it will end use of private prisons

By Donald Cohen – IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) just announced they plan to end their use of privately operated, for-profit prisons to incarcerate federal prisoners.

This is HUGE news.

The decision follows last week’s release of a DOJ report that concluded private prisons are both less safe and less effective than those run by the government.

Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates confirmed what many have been saying all along: private prisons “simply do not provide the same level of correctional services, programs, and resources; they do not save substantially on costs; and…they do not maintain the same level of safety and security.”
This is a major setback for the private prison industry, which pulls in hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in profits each year. The biggest companies in the industry, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and GEO Group, often cut corners, encourage mass incarceration, increase recidivism, exacerbate inequality, and take tax dollars away from fixing our criminal justice system.

In the wake of the news, CCA’s shares are already down 50%, while GEO Group’s are down by 35%.

The DOJ’s decision is a testament to the long and tiring work of some of our closest allies, including Grassroots Leadership, Detention Watch, ACLU, AFL-CIO, AFSC, AFSCME, Prison Legal News, Enlace, Justice Strategies, SEIU, Teamsters, CWA, AFGE, PICO, The Sentencing Project, Brave New Films, NAACP, and many more.

Every taxpayer dollar we take back from the private prison industry is a dollar that can be spent on cultivating a more humane criminal justice system and a safe and just society.