Proponents of prison reform were somewhat pleased by your bill filed last week to end private prisons for federal, state, and local inmates. Private prisons are criticized for their primary goal of achieving profit instead of providing a safe environment for inmates and correctional officers. Presidential candidate Sander’s bill would end all government contracts for privately managed prisons and jails within three years of the approved legislation. In the house, Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., introduced the companion bill, The Justice is Not for Sale Act. This bill which would end federal, state, and local governments from contracting with private companies to manage prisons and jails.
Grijalva stated in an email to the Huffington Post that, “For-profit prisons cut corners to turn a buck; that means less well-trained staff to manage the prisons, which puts the prisoners, guards and the public’s safety at risk.”
Your Senate bill and the House bill are a small step in challenging the United States mass incarceration Crisis. Our country has approximately 25% of the world’s inmates and only 5% of the world’s population.
Senator Sanders, in order to cure our massive incarceration crisis, we need legislation that will eliminate the following cancers of our broken system of justice; the over criminalization of nonviolent offenses, criminal laws that target our minorities, the widespread imprisonment of the mentally ill, the lack of effective drug rehabilitation programs before the involvement of our courts, the ineffective rehabilitation programs in our prisons, and the absence of real re-entry programs for our returning citizens.
By: Bradley Schwartz
Founder of prisonpath.com