Fixing a hole

News in Brief

The US bureau of prisons will end the use of private prisons over the next five years, the US justice department announced on 18 August.

The change comes after the racism of the criminal justice system has been pushed to near the top of the political agenda by the Black Lives Matter movement; after powerful investigative reporting by the Nation and other journals; and after a damning 11 August report by the inspector general of the justice department, which found that ‘in most key areas, contract [private] prisons incurred more safety and security incidents per capita’ than comparable state-run prisons, without providing significant savings.

This decision covers 20,000 prisoners. It does not cover 100,000 people held in state and local private prisons; or 25,000 immigrants held in private prisons while facing deportation; or 18,000 people held in private prisons before trial by US federal marshals.

Topics: Prison