Report shows private prisons do not maintain the same level of safety and security.
The U.S. Justice Department has announced that they will no longer be housing inmate in private prisons, just a week after a report discovered that privately run prisons have worse safety records than those run by the Bureau of Prison. Additionally, the report showed those private prisons don't save taxpayers a significant amount of money when compared with federal facilities.
Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates made the announcement in a memo which instructed the Bureau of Prison officials not to sign any new contracts with private prison operators, and not to renew any existing contracts in the future.
"Private prisons served an important role during a difficult period, but time has shown that they compare poorly to our own Bureau facilities. 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 lnspector General, they do not maintain the same level of safety and security."
“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.”
The report analyzed 14 private prisons in the U.S. and found more contraband, lockdowns and severe inmate punishment on average than those found in those run by the BOP. It also listed numerous examples of mayhem at private facilities, including a 2012 riot at the Adams County Correctional Center in Mississippi in which a correctional officer was killed. That incident, involving more than 250 inmates, was sparked because of outrage over the low-quality food and horrible medical care at the facility.
Private prisons housed roughly 22,660 federal inmates as of December 2015, which represents about 12 percent of the Bureau of Prisons total inmate population, according to the report.