The Justice Is Not For Sale Act would ban government contracts with private prisons, forcing local and state government responsible over state and local correctional facilities.

Bernie Sanders has just announced the next big issue he plans on taking on: private prisons. Sanders introduced a bill called the Justice is Not For Sale Act, which would ban government contracts with private prisons.

“Study after study after study has shown private prisons are not cheaper, they are not safer, and they do not provide better outcomes for either the prisoners or the state,” Sanders said at a press conference.

“In my view, corporations should not be allowed to make a profit by building more jails and keeping more Americans behind bars. We have got to end the private-for-profit prison racket in America,” Sanders said. “It is unacceptable that companies like Corrections Corporation of America and the GEO Group are spending tens of millions of dollars lobbying members of Congress and state legislatures all over this country to keep more Americans behind bars for longer and longer sentences. That has got to end.”

According to Think Progress, private prisons have done more damage than good:

In 2013, 8.4 percent of the 1.6 million inmates in federal and state prisons were locked away in prisons managed by private entities. By profiting off of the number of inmates as well as inmate labor, large corporations are primarily concerned with filling their prisons — leading to overcrowding and incentivizing the incarceration of people who commit low-level offenses. Poor management has led to the cruel treatment of people behind bars, who are denied medical services, brutalized by correctional staff, and subjected to inhumane living conditions. And because they are driven by profit, private prisons are less inclined to invest in rehabilitative services for inmates. 

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