The Associated Press reports:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has signaled his support for the federal government’s use of private prisons, rescinding a memo meant to phase out their use. Sessions issued a new memo Thursday replacing one issued last August by Sally Yates, the deputy attorney general at the time.
That memo told the Bureau of Prisons to begin reducing and ultimately end its use of privately run prisons. She said the facilities were less well run than those managed by the Bureau of Prisons, and were less necessary given declines in the overall prison population.
But Sessions says in his memo Thursday that Yates’ directive contradicted longstanding Justice Department policy and “impaired the Bureau’s ability to meet the future needs of the federal correctional system.”
More from USA Today:
Private prison companies, which stand to make big gains under President Trump’s tough new immigration orders, also have contributed big sums to pro-Trump groups, including the organization that raised a record $100 million for his inauguration last month.
GEO Group, one of the nation’s largest for-profit prison operators, donated $250,000 to support Trump’s inaugural festivities, Pablo Paez, the company’s vice president of corporate relations, told USA TODAY.
That’s on top of the $225,000 that a company subsidiary donated to a super PAC that spent some $22 million to help elect the real-estate magnate. Another prison operator, CoreCivic, gave $250,000 to support Trump’s inauguration, recently filed congressional reports show.
For-profit prison companies see the potential for significant growth under the Trump administration and a Republican-led Congress where some lawmakers are pushing to toughen penalties for undocumented immigrants who are deported and then re-enter the country illegally.