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American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) National President J. David Cox Sr. and AFGE Council of Prison Locals President Eric Young today issued the following joint statement:
"We are thrilled that the Department of Justice announced an end to the use of private prisons, and applaud the DOJ for their instruction to the Bureau of Prisons to decline or drastically reduce the use of contract incarceration as a means to an end. We appreciate the Deputy Attorney General acknowledging that the size of the inmate population will determine how quickly we can end this practice.
The truth of the matter is, private prisons just aren't as accountable as our government prisons. The Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General said it best in their recent report: private prisons are less safe for both inmates and workers, and we have a great opportunity to reform our system for the better.
The men and women working in our federal Bureau of Prisons are the most professional, highly trained correctional workers in the nation, and are uniquely equipped to handle the heavy demands of inmate supervision. Because of their hard work, our communities know peace. Returning the responsibility of caring for and rehabilitating inmates will ensure that these men and women serve their time productively, and re-enter society as reformed, valuable citizens.
We hope that this announcement will inspire Congress to provide the Bureau of Prisons sufficient resources to house and rehabilitate inmates in federal institutions, and work on meaningful reforms to decrease the overcrowding in our nation's prisons.
We have always believed that private profits should never come before public safety, and we commend DOJ for coming to the same conclusion."