Warren pledges to ban private prisons

White House hopeful Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenNew Biden campaign ad jabs at Trump's reported 0 income tax payments Democrats blast Trump after report reveals he avoided income taxes for 10 years: 'Disgusting' Overnight Defense: Appeals court revives House lawsuit against military funding for border wall | Dems push for limits on transferring military gear to police | Lawmakers ask for IG probe into Pentagon's use of COVID-19 funds 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."


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 Klobuchar3 reasons why Biden is misreading the politics of court packing Social media platforms put muscle into National Voter Registration Day Battle lines drawn on precedent in Supreme Court fight MORE (D-Minn.), Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersNew Biden campaign ad jabs at Trump's reported 0 income tax payments Trump, Biden have one debate goal: Don't lose The role (un)happiness plays in how people vote MORE (I-Vt.), Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellHouse to vote on resolution affirming peaceful transition of power Swalwell calls for creation of presidential crimes commission to investigate Trump when he leaves office 'This already exists': Democrats seize on potential Trump executive order on preexisting conditions MORE (D-Calif.), former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeJimmy Carter says his son smoked pot with Willie Nelson on White House roof O'Rourke endorses Kennedy for Senate: 'A champion for the values we're most proud of' 2020 Democrats do convention Zoom call MORE (D-Texas), former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump previews SCOTUS nominee as 'totally brilliant' Cook Political Report shifts Colorado Senate race toward Democrat Willie Nelson playing at virtual fundraiser for Hickenlooper MORE, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegBillionaire who donated to Trump in 2016 donates to Biden The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - GOP closes ranks to fill SCOTUS vacancy by November Buttigieg stands in as Pence for Harris's debate practice 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 TrumpNew Biden campaign ad jabs at Trump's reported 0 income tax payments Ocasio-Cortez: Trump contributed less in taxes 'than waitresses and undocumented immigrants' Third judge orders Postal Service to halt delivery cuts 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 BidenNew Biden campaign ad jabs at Trump's reported 0 income tax payments Biden campaign sells 'I paid more income taxes than Trump' stickers Trump, Biden have one debate goal: Don't lose MORE and Sanders, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls.