By Brad Friedman on 8/18/2016, 6:01pm PT
Guest: Carl Takei of ACLU’s National Prison Project
Shockingly good news on today’s BradCast, following today’s remarkable announcement by the U.S. Dept. of Justice that they are working to end the federal government’s “use of privately operated prisons”.
After that, you may want to pop up some popcorn to best enjoy the rest of today’s program. [Audio link to complete program is posted below.]
First up today, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates issued a memo, as Washington Post reported, instructing federal officials “to either decline to renew the contracts for private prison operators when they expire or ‘substantially reduce’ the contracts’ scope. The goal, Yates wrote, is ‘reducing — and ultimately ending — our use of privately operated prisons.’
Wow. Her memo goes on to cite a recent DoJ Inspector General’s report finding that privately run prisons do not provide same level of service, “do not save substantially on costs” and “do not maintain the same level of safety and security” as those run by the federal government’s Bureau of Prisons.
I am joined by Carl Takei, staff attorney for the ACLU’s National Prison Project, for both an explanation and a bit of a victory lap after his organization and others have spent decades taking on the private, for-profit prison industry. Takei details what the announcement means, why it has finally come about now, and how the ACLU and others — including investigative reporters, the Bernie Sanders campaign, and eventually the Hillary Clinton campaign — have long argued precisely what the DoJ has admitted today.