Loading...
Loading...
Click here if you don’t see subscription options
The EditorsMarch 08, 2017
(iStock photo)

In late February, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded a policy of President Obama’s that aimed to curtail the use of private facilities by the federal prison system. This repeal will probably have little effect on the growing private prison system. Mr. Obama’s policy did not apply to state prison systems, which include the great majority of private prisons, or to immigrant detention centers. But this repeal sends a clear message: Profit is more important than people.

How many deaths will it take to end for-profit prisons? This was the question posed by the editors of America last year in light of reports that prisoners had died from medical neglect and violence. We wrote, “The problems with for-profit prisons are well documented—a lack of oversight, a commitment to shareholders rather than the public good” (2/29/16).

In spite of these deficiencies, private prison companies have seen their stocks rise by over 100 percent since Election Day, in no small part because of President Trump’s avowed commitment to incarcerate undocumented immigrants who “are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers.’’ This windfall for private prison companies comes at far too high a price.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

The latest from america

Elizabeth Cullinan's literary output was not prodigious—but her memorable characters and close attention to the Irish-American culture in which she lived made her a prominent fiction writer in the '70s and '80s.
James T. KeaneApril 16, 2024
Pope Francis and his international Council of Cardinals continued their discussions about the role of women in the church, listening to women experts, including a professor who spoke about how culture impacts women’s roles and status.
For Bonaventure, to eat spiritually is to approach eating the Eucharist both with faith and ultimately with the affection of charity in one’s heart.
Being a member of the “I don’t know club” means you will be attacked by both sides. It does not mean you have nothing to say.
Thomas J. ReeseApril 16, 2024