Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates announced Thursday that the Justice Department plans to end the use of private prisons after they have been found to be less safe and effective in operating correctional facilities than those the government runs.
The memo released by Yates tells officials they shouldn't renew contracts or private operators once they expire to "substantially reduce" the scope of the contracts, the Washington Post reports. She writes that they seek “reducing — and ultimately ending — our use of privately operated prisons.”
“They simply do not provide the same level of correctional services, programs, and resources; they do not save substantially on costs; and as noted in a recent report by the Department’s Office of Inspector General, they do not maintain the same level of safety and security,” wrote Yates.
In an interview with The Post, Yates continued private prisons "don't compare favorably to Bureau of Prisons facilities in terms of safety or security or services, and now with the decline in the federal prison population, we have both the opportunity and the responsibility to do something about that."
The memo comes just a week after the Justice Department released a report that private prisons had more safety and security incidents than those run by the federal Bureau of Prisons.