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2020 Presidential Election

2020 Criminal Justice: Private prisons


  • A "private prison" refers to a prison run by a private, for-profit company that is often subject to little to no federal regulations.

  • 1984: The first privately-run prison opened in Tennessee. [TIME]

  • According to the Department of Justice, private prisons hold about 22,100 inmates or 12% of the total incarcerated population. [The Chicago Tribune]


President Trump supports private prisons.


What he's done:

The Trump administration has doubled government spending on private prisons, largely to house ICE detainees.

[Brennan Center for Justice]

  • At least 24 new detention centers have been built by private prison companies. [USA Today

The Trump administration has allocated most spending to The GEO Group, a Florida-based for-profit prison company. [The Wall Street Journal]


Jan. 2020: The Trump administration sued the state of California for outlawing private prisons. [The Los Angeles Times]


Former Vice President Biden is against private prisons. 


What he's said:

Biden promises to end the federal government’s use of private prisons. [Joe Biden Campaign]


Biden promises to end the federal government's use of private prisons for ICE detainees. [Joe Biden Campaign]


Biden wants to incentivize states to end contracts with private prisons by offering grants to those that follow. [Joe Biden Campaign]



What he's done:

During the Obama-Biden administration, the Department of Justice successfully implemented a policy for the federal government to not renew any private prison contracts. 

bites election 7

2020 Topics:

CRIMINAL JUSTICE                        

Key Vocabulary