California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill on Friday that would eliminate private, for-profit prisons, including those used for immigration detention, by 2028.
By Nicole Acevedo
Starting on Jan. 2020, the state’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation won’t be able to enter into or renew a contract with a private, for-profit prison to incarcerate people.
Operating a private immigration detention facility and incarcerating people in for-profit prisons will be prohibited after Jan. 2028, according to the newly signed law.
“During my inaugural address, I vowed to end private prisons, because they contribute to over-incarceration, including those that incarcerate California inmates and those that detain immigrants and asylum seekers,” Newsom said in a statement. “These for-profit prisons do not reflect our values.”
The Adelanto Detention Facility, which is one of the nation’s biggest privately-run immigration detention centers, will be phased out under the new law.
This past summer, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General released a report that found “egregious violations of detention standards” at the Adelanto Detention Facility, including “nooses in detainee cells, improper and overly restrictive segregation, and inadequate detainee medical care.”
Mario, a 31-year-old Mexican immigrant who wished to only be identified by his first name to avoid government attention, was happy about the news. He was detained for six months at Adelanto, which he described as “a form of psychological torture and even abuse,” adding that the “conditions there were horrible.”
“The key word here is ‘for-profit,'” he told NBC News. “That means they will make sure they maximize profits and they are willing to cut back on things like medical services and even food.”