One of the ugliest policies in the move to privatize public services has been the private prison industry. We have reported on the abuses of private prisons, riots at them and how they put profit ahead of prisoners as these shocking photos show. The private prison industry is a corrupting influence in US politics. We have reported on how “Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is striking deals with private prison companies to lock up a “guaranteed minimum” of mothers with their children in euphemistically-termed family detention centers” and how they are getting wealthy abusing immigrants. Corporations are turning the US justice system into a profit making venture at every step in the process.
Popular Resistance agrees with the statement of the ACLU issued in response to Attorney General Sessions withdrawing the Obama administration policy to move toward ending private prisons.
The Trump administration, through a memo from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, withdrew an Obama administration policy to reduce and ultimately end the use of private prisons by the Justice Department.
David C. Fathi, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Prison Project, issued the following statement:
“Handing control of prisons over to for-profit companies is a recipe for abuse and neglect. The memo from Attorney General Sessions ignores this fact. Additionally, this memo is a further sign that under President Trump and Attorney General Sessions, the United States may be headed for a new federal prison boom, fueled in part by criminal prosecutions of immigrants for entering the country.
President Trump, whose super-PAC received hundreds of thousands of dollars from private prison companies, has issued executive orders calling for increasing criminal prosecutions of immigrants. He has repeatedly expressed support for new legislation to impose harsh, unnecessary new mandatory minimum sentences for these prosecutions.”
This decision to continue to use private prisons by the Trump administration ensures that the profit of private prisons will come before treating prisoners humanely. As the former acting attorney general under Trump ( removed from office for her concerns about the legality of Trumps travel order from seven mostly Muslim countries), Sally Yates said when she deputy attorney general Sally Yates under Obama wrote private prisons “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.” The result will be a downward spiral in US treatment of prisoners which is already severely problematic.
The downward spiral in treatment of prisoners will be accompanied by an up spiral in private prison profits. The trend toward corporate profiteering from what is becoming a prison-industrial complex will continue. Injustice will thrive while justice is diminished.