WASHINGTON— Today, President Joe Biden issued an executive order to end the Department of Justice’s reliance on private for-profit prisons. Currently, millions of individuals are trapped in the criminal justice system, and for-profit prisons play a major role in driving the mass incarceration crisis.
“This executive order is an important, immediate step the federal government can take to address the mass incarceration crisis that disproportionately impacts immigrants and communities of color,” said Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva. “The for-profit private prison industry is a driving force of this crisis, helping create perverse profit incentives that keep people behind bars, destroy lives, and tear families apart.”
First introduced in 2015, Rep. Grijalva is the author of the Justice is Not For Sale Act, a bill that will bar federal, state, and local governments from contracting with private prisons and detention centers. The bill also increases oversight of companies overcharging inmates and their families for banking and telephone calls and ends the use of family detention centers in favor of community-based and community-supported case management programs operated by nonprofit organizations.
“I applaud the Biden Administration for their actions to end the federal government’s relationship with for-profit prisons,” continued Rep. Grijalva. “I encourage them to work with me in Congress on passing the Justice is Not For Sale Act to make this executive order permanent and apply to for-profit immigration detention centers and state-run and local prisons. It’s time for us to work toward a more humane justice system and end the detention of adults and children. This is an important starting point.”