AB-32 – Bill to End California’s Use of For-Profit Private Prisons After 2028 - Approved by the Governor

On October 11, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom approved AB-32.[1] Existing law authorizes the Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (“CDCR”) to enter into contracts with private entities to obtain secure housing for state prison inmates in for-profit private prisons in this state or another state.

AB-32 will prohibit the department from entering into or renewing a contract with a private for-profit prison to incarcerate state prison inmates after January 1, 2020. Further, this bill will prohibit, after January 1, 2028, a state prison inmate or other person under the jurisdiction of the department from being incarcerated in a private, for-profit prison facility. Thus, by January 1, 2028, all state prison inmates under the jurisdiction of the CDCR must be removed from private, for-profit facilities. This bill will prohibit the operation of a private detention facility within California.

This bill comes in the wake of research tending to show that private, for-profit prisons lack incentives to value and prioritize effective prison rehabilitation programs; lack transparency; are less safe than government run facilities; are poorly administered; have higher rates of assault and contraband; and overall are not as cost-effective to the state as formerly believed.

This bill will put an end to California’s use of private for-profit detention facilities. The question that remains is whether California will be able to set-up resources to house inmates in government-run facilities by the time this bill takes effect, especially given the current state of overcrowding.

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[1] Visit the following link for the full text:

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB32

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