Success: Justice Department to End Private Prison Use

Target: Sally Yates, Deputy Attorney General

Goal: Thank the Justice Department for announcing they are going to stop using private prisons.

The Department of Justice announced that it will put an end to the use of private prisons by the federal government in a recent memo released by Sally Yates and the department. This is a momentous decision as the use of private prisons has been known to be far more damaging than helpful, so much so that there have been several ForceChange petitions calling for an end to the private prison industry.

Private prisons have been criticized for their ineffectiveness for a long time along with the plethora of complaints regarding the treatment of prisoners and issues regarding overpopulation. Yates addressed this in her memo: “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.”

The memo is only relevant to federal private prisons, which only house roughly 22,000 inmates, and does not apply to any of the state run facilities that count as private institutions. However, despite the limitations of the memo’s power, this is a huge step in the right direction as the federal government is directly renouncing the usage of privately owned prisons, meaning that many states could soon follow suit. Congratulate the Department of Justice for taking a huge step in the right direction by terminating their contracts with private prisons.


Dear Deputy Yates,

On behalf of anyone who has ever suffered at the hands of a federal private prison, we thank you for choosing to eliminate the usage of private prisons by the federal government. While the memo does not cover as much as it needs to, this is still a huge step in the right direction. Hopefully states with private prisons will follow suit and decide to terminate their contracts with private prisons as well.

Private prisons are an experiment that should have never been held in the first place and their existence in America has only served to embarrass us to the rest of the world. Private prisons are widely known for their ineffectiveness, cruelty, and lack of general safety. Deciding to put an end to them is a wise and long overdue decision. America thanks you for terminating your contracts with the private prison industry and congratulates you on taking a huge step forward in the fight to ending private prisons.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Tim Yancey

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