A new report by Cody Mason of the Sentencing Project offers a startling look at the plight of federal detainees. A crack down on immigration violators over the past decade has led to a remarkable increase in the number of detainees being held in American prisons, with private prisons playing a key role in detention.
In her report Dollars and Detainees: The Growth of For-Profit Detention, Cody informs readers:
Between 2002 and 2011 the number of privately held ICE detainees increased by 208 percent, while the number of USMS detainees held in private facilities grew by 355 percent.
In 2011, 45 percent of ICE detainees and 30 percent of USMS detainees were held by private companies.
Federal detainees are held in a complex network of facilities in which information on where individuals are being held, and by whom is often unavailable or incomplete.
The private detention industry is dominated by the same companies that are regularly criticized for their management of private prisons.
Concerns raised in the context of private prisons, including unsatisfactory levels of service, negative political and policy implications, and questionable economic effects, apply equally to private detention.
Source: The Sentencing Project