Warren pledges to ban private prisons

White House hopeful Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren overtakes Biden in Iowa for first time: poll Warren avoids attacks while building momentum Sanders unveils plan to eliminate Americans' medical debt MORE (D-Mass.) on Friday announced she would ban private detention centers if elected president.

In a Medium post, Warren called for the abolition of private prisons and private immigration facilities "by ending all contracts that the Bureau of Prisons and ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] have with private detention providers."

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The announcement comes on the eve of her participation in the National Association of Latino Elected Officials annual conference in Miami, where she'll appear alongside fellow Democratic presidential candidates like Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharMSNBC 'Climate in Crisis' special draws 1.3M viewers in 8 pm timeslot The two most important mental health reforms the Trump administration should consider Sanders searches for answers amid Warren steamroller MORE (D-Minn.), Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren overtakes Biden in Iowa for first time: poll The polls are asking the wrong question Sanders unveils plan to eliminate Americans' medical debt MORE (I-Vt.), Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellMarkey fundraises ahead of Kennedy primary challenge The Hill's Campaign Report: De Blasio drops out | Warren gains support from black voters | Sanders retools campaign team | Warning signs for Tillis in NC Swalwell to DNI: 'You do not have to be a part of a lawless administration' MORE (D-Calif.), former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeO'Rourke gun confiscation talk alarms Democrats NRA deems O'Rourke 'Salesman of the Month' after Arizona gun store sells out of AR-15s during 'Beto Special' MSNBC 'Climate in Crisis' special draws 1.3M viewers in 8 pm timeslot MORE (D-Texas), former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperLeft off debate stage, Bullock all-in on Iowa Yang says he would not run as a third-party candidate The Hill's Morning Report - Hurricane Dorian devastates the Bahamas, creeps along Florida coast MORE, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegWarren overtakes Biden in Iowa for first time: poll The polls are asking the wrong question Booker aide sounds alarm about campaign's funding MORE.

In her proposal, Warren painted a picture of private detention facilities rife with corruption, mistreatment of inmates and support from lobbying efforts in Washington.

"We didn’t get here by chance. Washington works hand-in-hand with private prison companies, who spend millions on lobbyists, campaign contributions, and revolving-door hires — all to turn our criminal and immigration policies into ones that prioritize making them rich instead of keeping us safe," she wrote.

In November, Warren led a group of Democratic senators in demanding transparency from private prison operators.

Warren on Friday credited former President Obama with taking measures to wind down reliance on private prisons, but "these companies got their biggest break yet when Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpAlaska Republican Party cancels 2020 primary Ukrainian official denies Trump pressured president Trump goes after New York Times, Washington Post: 'They have gone totally CRAZY!!!!' MORE landed in the White House."

"With Trump, private prison companies saw their chance to run the same playbook for our immigration system," she wrote.

According to an analysis of federal data by The New York Times, the number of minors in detention grew threefold from 2017 to 2018, due in part to the influx of migrants at the southern border but also because federal authorities have released fewer migrant minors to family care.

Warren accused the private prison system of abuses ranging from forced labor to price-gouging at commissaries, as well as violations of federal prison regulations like holding people in solitary confinement to make space for more inmates.

"This is exploitation, plain and simple. Our criminal and immigration systems are tearing apart communities of color and devastating the poor, including children," she wrote.

For-profit detention is a major issue for communities of color, particularly those where mixed immigration status is common.

Warren's announcement ahead of the conference in Miami comes as a new Quinnipiac poll shows her among a handful of Democratic contenders who are competitive against Trump in Florida, a key 2020 battleground.

Warren's campaign focus on releasing policy proposals on a variety of issues has so far proven effective, as she's risen to a solid third place behind former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenUkrainian official denies Trump pressured president Trump goes after New York Times, Washington Post: 'They have gone totally CRAZY!!!!' Warren overtakes Biden in Iowa for first time: poll MORE and Sanders, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls.