#Attorney General #Jeff Sessions wasted no time putting his nefarious mark on the Justice Department. In a memo released yesterday, Sessions directed the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to reverse the Obama era policy of winding down the use of #Private Prisons. Judging by the contents of the memo, the Trump administration and Sessions are preparing to take the country back in time to the 90s when the prison population swelled due to the disastrous policies from the Reagan and Bush administrations..
Former Attorney General Sally Yates in a memo released last August instructed the BOP to wind down, and eventually stop the use of private prisons after an audit by the Inspector General determined the conditions of those prisons to be inhumane. Sessions disputes this notion and said the former policy “impaired the Bureau's ability to meet the future needs of the federal correctional system.” Even though the prison population has decreased over the last few years due to Obama’s efforts to curtail mandatory maximum prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenders, Sessions ominous statement could be harbinger of things to come under Trump’s immigration policies.
Trump has given more authority to Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain and deport illegal immigrants and the statements by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer this week indicate the government may take a more forceful approach to the enforcement of federal marijuana laws, Sessions knows the country is about to experience an increase in its prison population and is preparing for it.
You would think a country with one of the highest prison populations in the world would do everything possible to reduce it, but Sessions is interested more in locking up the people Trump and his supporters deem undesirable.
Prison stocks soar
It is also worth mentioning the private prison industry is a major contributor to the Republican party. Shares for the private prison companies Geo Group and CoreCivic Co. rose after Sessions’ announcement proving yet again the horrendous influence money has on policy.
Senator Bernie Sanders agrees and in statement released after the announcement said, “Private prison companies invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and today they got their reward”. So much for Trump's promise to be a man of the people instead of a stooge for corporate America. Did anyone really believe a billionaire with enough lawsuits filed against him to keep Judge Judy busy for a week would be a man of the people?
The administration's push to curtail both legal and illegal immigration along with the change in tone towards the enforcement of federal marijuana laws means more Americans can expect to be locked behind bars in the near future.
This situation could make for a terrible humanitarian crisis too since Mexico does not seem keen on taking in the surge of illegal immigrants Trump intends on detaining and deporting. This means large numbers of men and women being held indefinitely in prisons that have already been found to be negligent in maintaining basic living conditions. Unfortunately, the Trump-Sessions partnership is starting out just how many predicted and is just getting started.