DOJ Inspector General Outlines Challenges for Federal Prisons

By Christopher Zoukis As has been done annually since 1998, in October, the Department of Justice (DOJ) inspector general released a list of what he sees as the leading management and performance challenges confronting the agency in the year ahead. One of the eight areas identified by Inspector General Michael…

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Bonds Used to Finance Private Prisons, Jails Turn into Junk

By Christopher Zoukis The promise of safe, humane and less costly prisons has been used for decades by the private prison industry to sell its products. As prison populations skyrocketed, local, state and federal governments became convinced that financing and building more and more correctional facilities was the way to…

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Report: How Private Prison Companies Exercise Influence Over Public Officials

By Christopher Zoukis An October 2016 report released by In the Public Interest (ITPI), a research and policy group that opposes the privatization of government services, details the millions of dollars spent by for-profit prison companies to influence public officials. The report tracks political expenditures by private prison firms, including…

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AG Sessions Says Private Prisons Are Back in Business with BOP

By Christopher Zoukis Well, that didn’t last long. You’ll remember the fanfare with which the Obama administration last Aug. 18 announced its plan to phase out all use of private-run prisons by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). The campaign was kicked off a week earlier with the unveiling of…

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Despite DOJ Ban, Private Prison Contracts in Georgia Are Renewed

By Christopher Zoukis This past August was a very rough month for privately-owned and operated prisons, at the hands of the Department of Justice. First, on Aug. 11, the DOJ inspector general’s office issued an 86-page report unfavorably comparing the performance of private prisons – looking over a four-year span…

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What Will Trump Team Do On DOJ Private Prison Ban?

By Christopher Zoukis In what the American Civil Liberties Union hailed as a groundbreaking step, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced with great fanfare in August that it planned to stop using private prisons. The announcement followed the release a week earlier of a report by DOJ’s inspector general finding…

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Justice Department Sets Course For Private Prison Phase-Out

Part I: What DOJ and the Bureau of Prisons Have Planned By Christopher Zoukis Reversing a 20-year policy, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates announced the Department of Justice will phase out federal use of private prisons, saying they “compare poorly” in safety and effectiveness to federal correctional facilities run by…

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