California Bans Private Prisons And Immigrant Detention Centers
On Friday, California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, signed a statewide ban on private prisons. According to The Guardian, the new law prohibits California’s prison authority from contracting with private companies to jail criminal detainees and requires the state to phase out existing contracts by 2028. It was said that the ban also applies to companies that hold immigrant detainees for the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
California houses around 1,600 inmates in three prisons run by Florida-based GEO Group, according to the corrections department. Its contract expires in 2023, at which time it will not be able to renew it under the new law. In a statement, Newsom said, “These for-profit prisons do not reflect our values.”
Assemblyman Rob Bonta, an Oakland Democrat and the bill’s lead author also released a statement saying,
“By ending the use of for-profit, private prisons and detention facilities, we are sending a powerful message that we vehemently oppose the practice of profiteering off the backs of Californians in custody, that we will stand up for the health, safety, and welfare of our people, and that we are committed to humane treatment for all.”
This is a big move for advocates and Democratic lawmakers who have railed against using the facilities to hold immigrants, citing poor conditions. Watchdog reports found that immigrants were being crowded into cells and many had trouble accessing medical care, showers, clothes, and even mental health care.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) currently houses 4,000 illegal immigrants in four private detention facilities throughout the state. Now, with the ban, California joins New York, Illinois, and Iowa in implementing restrictions on private prisons, Fox News notes.
Press Play Below For More: