Private Prisons Will Make A Comeback In The Trump Administration

Attorney General Jeff Sessions signed a memo reversing an Obama-era order that sought to limit the use of private prisons.

Private Prisons Will Make A Comeback In The Trump Administration
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Private prisons will be making a comeback in the Trump administration.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo saying he would roll back the Obama administration's policy of whittling down the number of prisons run by companies instead of the government.

The move isn't a surprising one. The day after President Donald Trump's victory, stock prices for prison companies skyrocketed — one by more than 40 percent.

In the U.S., three companies have 12 different contracts with the Department of Justice to hold more than 21,000 inmates. The Obama administration wanted to phase out those facilities.

Inmate in yellow prison clothing and handcuffs

The US Saw The Lowest Number Of People In Prison In Decades

Only about 1 in 37 U.S. adults was under some kind of correctional supervision at the end of 2015, the smallest number since 1994.


Advocates say corporately-owned prisons make incarceration more cost effective, saving thousands of dollars per inmate per year.

Opponents say those savings come at a cost. They accuse prison companies of cutting corners to protect profits at the expense of inmates. The ACLU called privatized prisons "a recipe for abuse and neglect."

The U.S. inspector general found that private prisons had higher rates of assaults on inmates and prison staff, and more contraband items were found there.