Private Prison Companies Get Bigger Slice of the Pie as Number of Federal Detainees Rises to Record Level
Date:  07-30-2012

Concerns grow over lack of transparency
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
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