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DOJ will end use of private prisons, six of them in Texas

The U.S. Justice Department announced it will end the practice of housing federal inmates in privately-operated prisons. There are 13 private federal prisons, and six of them are in Texas. More than twenty-two thousand federal inmates – about twelve percent of the total – are housed in the private facilities. A recent audit found that […]

The Department of Justice has announced that it will phase out its use of private prisons.

The U.S. Justice Department announced it will end the practice of housing federal inmates in privately-operated prisons. There are 13 private federal prisons, and six of them are in Texas.

More than twenty-two thousand federal inmates – about twelve percent of the total – are housed in the private facilities. A recent audit found that private prisons have more safety and security problems than the ones run by the government. The six in Texas are located mostly in west Texas, with one in the Rio Grande Valley.

The federal government began to rely on private prisons in the late 1990s because of overcrowding, but Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates said the prison population has been declining over the past three years. The process of ending the practice will be gradual, as contracts with private-prison operators expire and are not renewed.

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