President Joe Biden is reinstating an Obama era-policy to phase out the Bureau of Prisons’ (BOP) contracts with a handful of privately-managed prisons that almost entirely hold foreign nationals convicted of federal crimes.
Billed as a “racial equity” initiative by the White House, Biden will ask the BOP not to renew their contracts with 11 prisons that are privately managed but that nearly all of which hold foreign convicts — not American citizens.
Altogether, foreign convicts make up nearly 17 percent of the federal prison population, a total of more than 25,000, and most are from Mexico and Central America. Currently, nearly 14,000 of those foreign convicts are held in the privately-managed prisons contracted by the BOP.
The 11 privately-managed prisons include nine that are operated by the GEO Group, including three facilities that are already set to close within the next few months. The eight remaining privately-managed prisons’ contracts are set to expire later this year and in 2022. Biden’s order ensures none of those contracts up for renewal will be renewed.
Biden’s order “is a solution in search of a problem,” a spokesperson with GEO Group told Breitbart News in a statement:
For more than three decades, our company has provided high-quality services under a private-public partnership with the BOP. During this timeframe, our facilities, which are newer and more modern than the generally older government-run prisons, have helped the BOP meet the significant overcrowding challenges facing the federal prison system.
Our facilities have almost exclusively housed non-citizen criminal aliens convicted of federal crimes, thus allowing government-run facilities to care for U.S. citizens without significant overcrowding challenges.
The most recent study, published in the Arizona State Law Journal, found that the role of privately-managed prisons is vastly overstated by politicians and notes that 92 percent of all inmates are held in publicly managed prisons.
“This persistent focus on private prisons by politicians and the public alike is misguided for at least two reasons. First, it significantly overstates the role that privatization plays in the U.S. prison system,” Fordham University law professor John Pfaff writes.
“All told, only about 8 percent of prisoners in the United States are held in privately run facilities,” Pfaff continues. “At least fifteen states do not rely on private prisons at all, and even among those states that use private prisons, a majority have no more than 10 percent of their prison populations in private facilities. Mass incarceration is a public sector affair in the United States.”
The order is a step further than the Obama administration’s 2016 initiative where the Justice Department instructed officials at the Bureau of Prisons to end contracts with the privately-managed prisons or drastically reduce the prisons’ inmate population.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at [email protected]