The Department Of Justice Announced It Will Start Using Private Prisons Again

The Obama DOJ vowed to stop using them last summer.

josefkubes/iStock

 

Last summer, the Obama Department of Justice announced it would no longer use private prisons. Shortly after the DOJ announcement, the Department of Homeland Security also said it would reevaluate its use of private prisons. The stocks of companies like Corrections Corporation of America (CCA, now CoreCivic) and GEO Group promptly tanked. But then in November this thing no one thought would happen actually happened, and suddenly the private prison industry turned that frown upside down.

If the presidency of Donald Trump was an unexpected gift to the private prison industry, and Jeff Sessions’ confirmation as attorney general was a bow on the box, then today is Christmas morning for for-profit corrections companies:

Shane Bauer spent four months in a private prison working as a guard, and his article detailing that experience in the pages of Mother Jones should be read by anyone who has ever wondered what hell might actually look like.

 

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.