People celebrated as President Biden signed an executive order that many are calling a “ban” on private prisons. But … it’s not! In order to understand what’s wrong with this, you have to understand some fundamental things about the system.
President Biden essentially reissued an Obama-era order on private prisons and expanded it a bit.
First, it doesn’t touch immigrant detention or post-incarceration “services,” which is where private prisons are heavily focused. But there’s much more to be understood here.
Mass incarceration is primarily driven by the prisons that are NOT privately owned. Of the millions incarcerated in the U.S., Biden’s order will affect fewer than 30,000 people, and will free no one from this system that’s an extension of slavery. There are things that could actually help, though.