Justice Dept Announces it Will End Use of For-Profit Prisons … Prison Stocks Plummet


By Claire Bernish

In a stunning turn of events, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday it will no longer use private prisons to incarcerate federal prisoners, deeming the notorious for-profit facilities both less safe and less effective in providing correctional services than those operated by the government.

“They 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,” Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates explained in today’s announcement.

According to the Washington Post, a memo from Yates instructs officials to either decline to renew private prison contracts upon their expiration, or “substantially reduce” the contracts’ scope.

This announcement comes on the heels of a rather scathing report from the DOJ’s inspector general last week which found the nefarious privately run facilities had a greater number of safety and security incidents than those run by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

According to that report, various disturbances in private prison facilities in recent years led to “extensive property damage, bodily injury, and the death of a Correctional Officer.”

“The fact of the matter is that private prisons don’t compare favorably to Bureau of Prisons facilities in terms of safety or security or services, and now with the decline in the federal prison population, we have both the opportunity and the responsibility to do something about that,” asserted Yates in an interview, according to the Post.

As soon as the news broke the DOJ would be abandoning for-profit prisons, stock value crashed for both Corrections Corporation of America and the GEO Group, as Zero Hedge reported, the latter evaporating 35 percent of its value in record time.

Images: Zero Hedge

Countless advocacy groups and media outlets, including The Free Thought Project, have frequently highlighted countless abuses, violence, and horrid conditions, if not outright human rights violations — as well as numerous deaths under suspicious circumstances — found in notorious for-profit prisons.

Toward the goal of severely constricting private prison contracts, Yates noted the bureau had already declined to renew a 1,200-bed contract for Cibola County Correctional Center in New Mexico, despite protestations from the sheriff. She also wrote that over the next year, the Bureau of Prisons would decline to incarcerate prisoners in at least three private facilities, and by May 1, 2017, the private prison population would be drastically reduced to just 14,200 inmates — in total.

Yates said it was “hard to know precisely” when private prisons would be completely absent of federal inmates, but that next year’s May goal represented less than half the total federal inmates housed in private facilities three years ago, at the peak of that population — indicating the department was “well on our way to ultimately eliminating the use of private prisons entirely.”

Though ceasing to house federal prisoners in privately-run facilities will be a major undertaking, the move is now underway.

“We have to be realistic about the time it will take, but that really depends on the continuing decline of the federal prison population, and that’s really hard to accurately predict,” Yates explained.

While private prisons might have been useful in supplementing federally run facilities for some time, Yates noted they had proved less effective over time.

As for the cost of private prisons, the inspector general found that in 2014, the Bureau of Prisons shelled out $639 million to the private companies: Corrections Corporation of America, GEO Group and Management and Training Corporation.

Given the safety, security, and financial concerns — not to mention countless evidence of outright abuses — surrounding for-profit prisons, the DOJ announcement is welcome news to both inmates, advocates, and taxpayers, alike.

“Bottom line,” Yates concluded, “I’d also say, you get what you pay for.”

Claire Bernish writes for TheFreeThoughtProject.com, where this article first appeared.

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16 Comments on "Justice Dept Announces it Will End Use of For-Profit Prisons … Prison Stocks Plummet"

  1. In other words FEMA camps are coming.

  2. So the neoliberal concept of privatization of public services isn’t working out so well for the poor taxpayers? Wasn’t this supposed to be The Answer to less government? Weren’t private corporations supposed to be better at rendering such services? At least that’s the PR lie the DOJ wanted us to believe at the start of this scam. Now they want us to beLIEve those corporations lost money and were unable to provide safe, or even moral services. The truth is that the for-profit prisons made so much money using prisoners as free manufacturing labor that all those federal funds we supplied via taxes were funneled into foreign central banks, never to be seen again. This country has been hemorrhaging dollars like a giant sucking chest wound for years in many such schemes.

    And then we have Aetna’s threat to pull out of Obamacare because the DOJ is blocking their merger with Humana….. hmmmm.

    One wonders what has triggered the alarm to roll up the tent on these shell games.

    • The US Bureau of Prisons uses essentially free prison labor to make all the furnishings one sees in courtrooms, military installations, uniforms, etc.

      With the prison population now in decline, the Bureau needs that labor in their own slave camps instead of camps run by private corporations. This ensures government slave camp factory utilization rates remain high enough to maintain desired profit levels.

      Bottom line, the DOJ decision to let private prison contracts expire was not a humanitarian, but rather a purely business decision.

      • Not just essentially free labor but as “legally” held slaves. The 13th amendment has a loophole allowing convicted “criminals” to be used as slave labor. The state also provides money for slave upkeep and funds to the company holding them.

      • They so love to look like the good guys. They’re fooling no one but themselves.

        RB, do you know what is causing the decline in prison population?

      • I agree with what you say. However, I think a couple of years ago when the biggies from various governmental and private u.s security companies (including, of course, Microsoft, Google, et., etc.met with Chinese security officials in China they discussed far more than just Internet security and media censorship (although they cert6ainly must have gained some useful tips in those areas).

  3. Free the weed private prisons are of no need; another nail in capitalist slavery is welcome.

  4. Because when they charge the Invaders with crimes they commit at the demand of Citizens, they want to make sure they are comfortable and won’t be going on the Highways to pick up garbage. It will be a Country Club Prison. In Prison you are protected from others on the outside. Obama is letting white guys out of Prison to make way for his Muslim Buddies, so they can be protected.

  5. Good beginning! Now, let’s work toward eliminating the entire prison system.

    Prisons are superfluous under the Bible’s criminal JUSTICE system: Capital criminals are put to death immediately after conviction, per Ecclesiastes 8:11, etc. Non-capital criminals are required to pay two to five times restitution (depending upon the nature of their crime) to their VICTIMS, per Exodus 22:1, etc. If the thief refuses to pay restitution, his contempt of court is a capital crime, per Deuteronomy 17:9-13, for which he’s put to death post haste.

    Under such a system, tax-paid-for prisons (paid for by innocent people) are unnecessary and crime would be all but unheard of. Perfect, just like David declared it was in Psalm 19:7-11.

    For more on how Yahweh’s triune moral law (His Ten Commandments and their respective statutes and judgments) apply and should be implemented today, see free online book “Law and Kingdom: Their Relevance Under the New Covenant.” Click on my picture, then our website. Go to our Online Books page and scroll down to title.

    • Our personal experience is that today’s criminal has no motivation to pay restitution.

      Our business was robbed by an employee, and even though the amount was significant and the thief caught on video, the police refused to investigate, saying it was a ‘civil matter’. We weren’t happy, and at great inconvienence and expense to ourselves pressed the county prosecutor and detective division to take action, which they eventually did, charging the thief with felony theft, fraud and illegal conversion.

      Several years passed and the thief was offered a plea which would place him on probation. Once again, we weren’t happy and applied pressure that forced the terms to include payment of restitution to the court which would then be forwarded to us.

      As you can imagine, we never received a dime, and when we complained, the court treated us as if we were the criminals. Three years after the court’s stipulation, the thief’s felony record was expunged. That’s how things work in practice.

  6. Nailed it!

    Over 70% of the inmates in Travis Country Jail (Austin, TX), have yet to be convicted of a crime, and can’t make bail. They hold on to the inmates for an insane amount of time so they can charge back the city/state. Multiple court dates are made, but they never send the prisoner to the courthouse. ERGO more time in jail. This happened to a friend. Finally on the 4th court date he was finally brought to the courthouse. For-Profit prisons has turned Texas into a gulag. The police use the neighborhoods of color as revenue centers. They never shut down the main drug dealers, and make the worst offenders into informants. It’s a system that cannibalizes it’s own citizens, and creates a huge steady revenue stream for cites around America.

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