Justice Department to end use of private prisons

privateprisonsLong overdue news yesterday from the U.S. Justice Department saying they plan to end use of private prisons because research shows they are  less safe and less effective, do not save substantially on costs, and do not maintain the same level of safety and security.  To truly grasp the enormity of the problems at some of these profit-driven facilities, read Shane Bauer’s exposé of his four months undercover as a private prison guard in Louisiana or The Nation magazine’s story about deaths in privately operated facilities, both of which were cited by Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates in her announcement. (You can also hear great podcasts about these stories on Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting.) This is a big win for the power of investigative journalism to shed light on secrets others want to keep hidden and hold the powerful accountable. The push must continue to end profit-making private prisons still used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Marshals Service and states.