Notes on the Recent Department of Justice Decision To Move Not Renew Private Prison Contracts
The Department of Justice announced on August 18 that it will begin transitioning away from federally contracted private prisons, essentially transitioning around 22,000 individuals currently caged in 13 for-profit facilities to publicly funded cages. This perplexing decision is not entirely unprecedented, as seen in New York and Illinois, which both passed legislation prohibiting the outsourcing of prison maintenance work to private corporations a few years ago. Within the first few hours of the announcement, reactions across the spectrum, and new demands surfaced. In my role as REC’s prison divestment organizer, it’s been hard not to feel a wave of emotion over the news, and still be skeptical about its implications.