Report Reveals Private Prisons Are a Hotbed of Abuse and Violence

From Common Dreams:

Private federal prisons are more abusive, violent, and dangerous than their government-run counterparts, according to a frightening report published this week by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General.

The report [pdf], which examined prisons owned and operated by GEO Group, Management and Training Corporation, and the controversial and very notorious Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), discovered that inmates in those facilities “were nine times more likely to be placed on lockdown than inmates at other federal prisons and were frequently subjected to arbitrary solitary confinement,” the Guardian reports.

Moreover, for-profit prisons “almost exclusively incarcerate low risk inmates convicted of immigration offenses,” the Guardian notes.

“This is due to a new trend in the past decade of criminally prosecuting people for reentering the country rather than merely processing them through the civil deportation system,” said Carl Takei, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) National Prison Project, to the Washington Post. “The result is that people serve sometimes-lengthy prison sentences in [Federal Bureau of Prisons] custody before … going through civil deportation proceedings.”

“These facilities house around 22,000 individuals, mostly deemed ‘low risk,’ at an annual cost of $600m,” according to the Guardian.

When including state-level private prisons, those incarcerated in such facilities number in the tens of thousands. As progressive think tank In the Public Interest (ITPI) reported [pdf] last month, “As of December 2015, CCA owned 47 facilities with a capacity of 68,000 prisoners, and GEO Group owned 36 facilities with a capacity of 44,000 prisoners.”

Locations and populations of privately-owned prisons. Image: U.S. Department of Justice

The conditions inmates endure in such facilities are grim. The report authors wrote that at two of the three prisons they visited, they “learned that all newly received inmates …

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