September, 2017

Policing for Profit

The Political Economy of Private Prisons and Asset Forfeiture
  • Abigail Hall

    Associate Professor of Economics at Bellarmine University
  • Vernoica Mercier

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Learn more about the edited volume at Routledge.

In 2016, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it would end its use of "private prisons" in the United States, facilities which are owned or operated by private firms on behalf of state and federal authorities. The memo, released by Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates, states the DOJ decision comes in light of data showing that private prisons do not provide the same level of correctional services, fail to save money, and do not maintain the same level of safety and security as government-run facilities (Yates, 2016). As a result, the DOJ directive outlined intentions to phase out the use of private prisons by declining to renew contracts. The goal is to significantly reduce and ultimately eliminate the use of these facilities (Ibid).