WASHINGTON, Aug. 18, 2016 — The Department of Justice announced today that it is ordering the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to begin phasing out its use of private prisons.
The order, announced by Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, includes amending the solicitation for five private prisons in Texas from 10,800 prisoners to 3,600. By May of 2017, the BOP is expected to have 14,000 prisoners in private prisons, a decline of about 50 percent from the peak a few years ago. The BOP has been instructed that as contracts come up for renewal nationwide, it is to reduce the numbers and, if possible, not renew the contract at all.
David Fathi, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Prison Project, had this comment:
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“This is an important and groundbreaking decision. With its announcement today, the Justice Department has made clear that the end of the Bureau of Prisons’ two-decade experiment with private prisons is finally in sight. The ACLU applauds today’s decision and calls on other agencies — both state and federal — to stop handing control of prisons to for-profit companies.”
The DOJ memo can be found here: https://www.aclu.org/letter/doj-memo-reducing-use-private-prisons