WHAT IT IS
- February, 2017: Attorney General (AG) Jeff Sessions reversed orders from the Obama Administration that reduced private-prison contracts.
- Government officials have previously claimed that private prisons are unsafe.
WHY IT MATTERS
The private-prison industry is mainly controlled by two companies: Core Civic and The Geo Group. Both donated heavily to President Trump’s 2016 campaign, and saw stocks soar after the president’s win. Debate has therefore sparked around AG Sessions’ motivating factors: Is the Department of Justice (DOJ) simply supporting the private sector or is there foul play at hand?
WHERE WE ARE NOW
- Following Sessions orders, private prisons will continue to serve America.
- The American Civil Liberties Union’s National Prison Project has spoken out against the decision, calling it an abuse.
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
- Watch the documentary 13th for another perspective about the criminal justice system in America.
- Was the decision made based on the interests of private companies instead of the justice system?
- Are America’s prisons able to manage demand?
- Does this move to increase prison space hint at a possibility of more arrests?