Before Trump, the Department of Justice announced it would begin to phase out the use of private prisons for federal inmates.
In her memo announcing the change, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates pointed out that private prisons “compare poorly” to facilities run by the federal Bureau of Prisons. The DOJ found that, in general, private prisons provide fewer correctional services at greater security and safety risk to inmates and staff, without producing substantial savings.
These results are related. To achieve their modest savings, private prisons tend to cut back on staff costs and training. More than a decade ago, researchers found that private facilities pay their officers less, provide fewer hours of training and have higher inmate-to-staff ratios, a combination which may account for their much higher turnover rate among correctional officers, as well as the uptick in inmate assaults.
But this has all changed, now that Trump is president and is reversing this move, making private prisons the new way to go.
The problem with making prisons private, for-profit companies, as Trump is doing, is that a private prison only makes money if they have enough ‘guests,’ just like a hotel, however, these guests could be given a ‘reservation’ they didn’t request and never deserved.
After all, it really does just come down to the money with Trump.