Private prisons cover only about 8 percent of the prison population at the federal, state, and local level. Ending Justice Department contracts certainly sends a signal, but private prisons just don’t have that much of a footprint in domestic incarceration. They have an enormous footprint in immigration detention, where something like 72 percent of migrants under ICE’s control sleep in privatized detention beds, mostly managed by the two big private prison companies, CoreCivic and GEO Group. Yet the Biden order, like the Obama order from 2016 that it restores, only ends contracts between the Justice Department and the private prison industry, not the Department of Homeland Security. The latter would make an actual difference to the private prison business model, and make it extremely hard to detain immigrants in the near term. That road wasn’t taken.
David Dayen , American Prospect.
What Biden can do.