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DOJ to End Use of Private Prisons

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

Donald Cohen

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The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) just announced its plans to end its 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 cornersencourage mass incarcerationincrease recidivismexacerbate 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 percent, while GEO Group’s are down by 35 percent.

The DOJ’s decision is a testament to the long and tiring work of some of In the Public Interest’s 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.

Please share this news widely. 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.

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