WASHINGTON D.C. – In an attempt to address the systemic issues embedded in our criminal justice system, President Joe Biden issued a new Executive Order Tuesday for “Reforming Our Incarceration System to Eliminate the Use of Privately Operated Criminal Detention Facilities.”
Biden declared that the Attorney General will terminate Department of Justice contracts with privately-operated criminal detention facilities.
Within the criminal justice system, people of color are disproportionately affected among individuals who are incarcerated, he noted, adding with over two million people incarcerated in the United States, he was eager to initiate change within the current system.
In order to adjust the criminal justice system and reach a lower incarceration level, Biden has established this Executive Order to decrease profit-based incentives for incarceration by eliminating the use of privately-operated criminal detention facilities.
This shift aims to focus our incarceration system on rehabilitation and redemption.
Individuals would be given an equal opportunity to reestablish themselves within their community and engage in programming that is concentrated around learning about job opportunities, affordable housing, and participating in elections.
Privately-operated criminal detention facilities significantly lack in providing incarcerated individuals with these resources and programs, according to critics.
Additionally, in 2016, the Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General noted that “privately operated criminal detention facilities do not maintain the same levels of safety and security for people in the Federal criminal justice system or for correctional staff.”
Incarcerated individuals must be protected by the Federal Government, said Biden, noting that includes maintaining safe working and living conditions, while providing safe and humane treatment that is held to the highest standard.
Kathryn Wood is a third year at UC Davis, majoring in Political Science-Public Service and minoring in Professional Writing and Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning. She is from Petaluma, California.
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