GOOD

Justice Department Will Cut Ties With Privately Owned Prisons

“It’s an international embarrassment”

Source: Pixabay

Due to the overcrowding of state-run prisons in the 1990s, the U.S. federal government began to rely on private, for-profit prisons to accommodate the overflow, which reached a population peak in 2013.


That system will come to an end over the next five years as contracts with 13 privately owned prisons expire, the U.S. Justice Department announced on Thursday. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates justified the decision to break ties with private prisons, saying in a statement, “They simply do not provide the same level of correctional services, programs, and resources; they do not save substantially on costs; and… they do not maintain the same level of safety and security.”

According to an Inspector General’s report released earlier in August, private prisons experience more violence and rule infractions compared to state-run institutions. While most federal inmates are detained in state-run prisons, as of December 2015, nearly 23,000 federal inmates—or 12 percent of the overall prison population—are housed in private prisons. A recent decline in incarcerations means the Justice Department will no longer have to rely on alternative housing.

Ending this two-decade long relationship will ensure private companies can no longer profit from mass incarceration. Senator Bernie Sanders, who has been a major proponent of ending private prison contracts, said in a statement following the Justice Department’s decision that the move is “an important step in the right direction,” adding that it’s “an international embarrassment that we put more people behind bars than any other country on Earth... due in large part to private prisons.”

Wall Street is already feeling the effects of this decision with stocks in private prison companies plummeting by as much as 50 percent, BBC News reports. It won’t be long before prisons feel the impact as well, as General Yates hopes to whittle the private prison population down to 14,200 inmates by May 1, 2017. In the long run, she says, the Justice Department is “well on [its] way to ultimately eliminating the use of private prisons entirely.”

Articles
via Barry Schapiro / Twitter

The phrase "stay in your lane" is usually lobbed at celebrities who talk about politics on Twitter by people who disagree with them. People in the sports world will often get a "stick to sports" when they try to have an opinion that lies outside of the field of play.

Keep Reading
Culture

The Free the Nipple movement is trying to remove the stigma on women's breasts by making it culturally acceptable and legal for women to go topless in public. But it turns out, Free the Nipple might be fighting on the wrong front and should be focusing on freeing the nipple in a place you'd never expect. Your own home.

A woman in Utah is facing criminal charges for not wearing a shirt in her house, with prosecutors arguing that women's chests are culturally considered lewd.

Keep Reading

In August, the Recording Academy hired their first female CEO, Deborah Dugan. Ten days before the Grammys, Dugan was placed on administrative leave for misconduct allegations after a female employee said Dugan was "abusive" and created a "toxic and intolerable" work environment. However, Dugan says she was actually removed from her position for complaining to human resources about sexual harassment, pay disparities, and conflicts of interest in the award show's nomination process.

Just five days before the Grammys, Dugan filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and her claims are many. Dugan says she was paid less than former CEO Neil Portnow. In 2018, Portnow received criticism for saying women need to "step up" when only two female acts won Grammys. Portnow decided to not renew his contract shortly after. Dugan says she was also asked to hire Portnow as a consultant for $750,000 a year, which she refused to do.

Keep Reading