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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California moved to end the use of private, for-profit lockups in America’s largest state prison system as well as in federal immigration detention centers in the state under a measure signed into law on Friday by Governor Gavin Newsom.
The new law bars the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from entering into or renewing a contract with a private company to run a state prison after Jan. 1, 2020, unless needed to meet court-ordered inmate housing limits. It will ban California from incarcerating anyone in privately run facilities altogether from 2028.
The measure, which passed the California legislature last month, does not apply to privately owned prisons operated and staffed by the state corrections agency.
Newsom said in a statement that he had vowed to abolish private prisons in the state when he took office in January “because they contribute to over-incarceration, including those that incarcerate California inmates and those that detain immigrants and asylum seekers.”
Supporters of the bill have argued that private prisons are driven to maximize shareholder profits, lack proper oversight or incentives to rehabilitate inmates and have contributed to a culture of mass incarceration by making it cheaper to lock up people.
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