DOJ not doing enough to end for-profit prison system: Column

October 27, 2016
In August, the Department of Justice directed its Bureau of Prisons to begin phasing out the use of privately operated, for-profit prisons. The decision followed an agency internal review, which found that private prisons are more costly, less effective and more dangerous than those run by the government.
The Justice Department’s five-year phaseout should be a significant step toward ending for-profit incarceration, which has for decades acted as an enabling force for both mass incarceration and the increased criminalization of immigrants.
The two largest private prison companies in the U.S., which together made an estimated $45 million in profits from Bureau of Prisons contracts last year, have already felt the hit. GEO Group had lost nearly a billion dollars in value on the stock market less than two weeks after the announcement. Curbing the unconscionable practice of investing in incarceration is a good start, but to end private prisons for good, we must go further.
Read Rep. Grijalva's full Op-Ed in USA Today here.