Overcrowding, unattended health issues and abusive behavior is rampant in private prisons, according to a federal review released Thursday, and the Bureau of Prisons that oversees conditions has enabled some of the practices and let others slip by.
Private prisons, or “contract prisons,” have mushroomed since the BOP started outsourcing immigrant detention. The reason, says the new report, is that public prisons were at overcapacity with “federal inmates who are primarily low security, criminal alien adult males with 90 months or less remaining to serve on their sentences.”
With almost five times as many beds today as 20 years ago, the U.S. had too many immigrants to fit in bureau-run prisons, so it signed contracts with for-profit prisons—around since 1983—to help out. The report leaves out that each private prison company spent millions lobbying to ramp up detentions.