The Justice Department plans to phase out its use of private prisons after they were determined to be less safe and less effective that government facilities, The Washington Post reports.
Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates in a memo Thursday instructed officials to not renew contracts with private prison operators or instead to "substantially reduce" the scope of such contracts. The goal is to ultimately end the department's use of privately operated prisons.
“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,” Yates wrote.
A report released last week by the department's inspector general found that privately operated prisons had more problems with assaults and contraband.
In the memo, Yates noted that the Justice Department contracted with privately run institutions initially about 10 years ago after an exploding prison population, but that population has been on the decline since 2013.
She wrote that private persons "served an important role during a difficult time period" but are less effective than government-run facilities.