Obama Administration to End Federal Use of Private Prisons

A government report found that violent incidents were more common in private prisons. (GETTY IMAGES)

article via bbc.com

The U.S. Justice Department will phase out use of privately owned prisons, citing safety concerns. Contracts with 13 private prisons will be reviewed and allowed to expire over the next five years .”They do not save substantially on costs and … they do not maintain the same level of safety and security,” Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates said explaining the decision.

The majority of US prisoners are held in state-run prisons. On Wall Street, the stocks of private prison companies declined sharply after the news was announced.  By Thursday afternoon, Corrections Corporation of America stock had plunged by nearly 50%.  An Inspector General’s report released this month found that private prisons saw higher rates of violent incidents and rule infractions in comparison with government-run institutions.

Jonathan Burns, a spokesman for the Corrections Corporation of America, told BBC News that the report contained “significant flaws” and that other studies have shown their facilities “to be equal or better with regard to safety and quality”. David Fathi, who directs the National Prison Project for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) told BBC News that the decision could have a trickle-down effect on state and local prisons, where more than 90% of U.S. prisoners are held.

To read more, go to: US to end federal use of private prisons – BBC News

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