Joe Biden will sign an executive order on Tuesday to end the use of private prisons in the federal prison system in the United States, according to his domestic policy adviser, Susan Rice.
“Private prisons take advantage of federal prisoners and, according to a report by the General Inspectorate of the Ministry of Justice, are less safe for inmates and guards” than public establishments, she explained in a statement. press conference.
The Democratic President will therefore order his Ministry of Justice not to renew the contracts of private operators when they expire.
This is a first step in the field of criminal justice, an area in which Joe Biden is committed to profound reforms. In particular, he promised to fight against record incarceration rates in the United States and against the over-representation of minorities in prison.
But this is a measure with limited scope: only 116,000 of the more than two million prisoners were held in private establishments in 2019, or 7% of the prison population in state prisons and 16% of that of federal prisons, according to the Department of Justice.
Private operators emerged in the 1980s in the United States, when the prison population began to increase exponentially due, in part, to a hardening of the fight against drugs.
At the end of his presidency, Democrat Barack Obama had however decided to put an end to it, after a report having established a higher level of violence within them. As soon as he came to power, Republican Donald Trump had taken the opposite course and, under his mandate, private actors even strengthened in immigration detention centers.
The measure that will be adopted Tuesday by Joe Biden does not concern these establishments, said Susan Rice.
The president is due to sign three other decrees in the afternoon to strengthen the fight against discrimination in the field of housing, against racism against Asian Americans and to strengthen the dialogue between his administration and the Amerindian nations.
“This is just the start,” said Susan Rice, promising further announcements later on possible police reforms.