Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it would phase out the use of private prisons in the federal prison system, gradually closing its 13 contracted private facilities. Five of those prisons are in Texas.
In a commentary in the Austin American-Statesman, The Sentencing Project’s Director of Advocacy Nicole Porter and Bob Libal, Executive Director of Grassroots Leadership, and advocacy group based in Austin, urge Texas corrections officials and policymakers to take a closer look at the state’s reliance upon privately operated incarceration facilities. Although the state closed two private prisons in 2013, Texas maintains contracts for 16 private prison facilities.
Texas lawmakers have an opportunity to build on changes that may lead to further private prison closures. In recent years, policy changes have resulted in prison population declines and thousands of empty prison beds. More reforms are being considered to reduce reduce the size of the prison system.
Read the full commentary at the Austin American-Statesman.