When a person decides they want to become criminals instead of contributing citizens, they end up in prison. Some get sentenced to an extended amount of time while others not as long, depending on the crime. California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill that became law to shut down private prisons in California, which house criminals and illegal immigrants.
In many ways, it is another way to give criminals more rights, more freedom, and better living conditions than some of the law-abiding citizens. Humanitarian wise, private prisons treat criminals like prisoners and not first-class priority citizens. Private prisons are privately owned by companies and are making profits from mass incarceration. California is leading the charge on being the first state to end these holding facilities and wanting the rest of the country to follow.
Rob Bonta is a California assemblyman who is the author of the bill, stated, “It’s really important to pass this bill because it protects the health, safety, and welfare of Californians. And we know from study after study that in for-profit private prisons and detention centers, Californians are getting hurt.” He also posted on Twitter, “History made! Thx @GavinNewsom for signing my #AB32 to make CA the 1st state to ban for-profit, private prisons, AND civil detention facilities! We say NO to Wall Street corps treating people as commodities & NO to profiteering on the backs of Californians!”
One would ask, “Is this a good idea?” The answer is common sense. It comes from Democrats, and the Democratic candidates support this throughout the U.S. There is no way closing prisons are a good idea. Democrats have made punishment a joke starting in the families by making a big stink about disciplining children. Look at the children nowadays and how disrespectful they have become. There is no punishment to fit the deed, and now they are closing prisons that treat criminals as they are.
State and Federal governments relied on these prisons to be tough on crime. In the 80s and 90s, prisoners feared these places. Today criminals are trying to get themselves thrown in jail because they are treated better than people who work for a living and are law-abiding. The more we treat criminals better than citizens, the higher the crime rate will be. Three of the private prisons in the state of California will close due to this new law, and 1,400 inmates will either be released or placed in state-owned prisons, which are already overcrowded. The facilities will remain open over the next four years until their contracts end.
Supporters of this move and Bonta say the prisons are only worried about money over the prisoner’s safety. Bonta stated, “[Private prison companies] are chasing the almighty dollar. They’re not investing in the Californians in their detention centers. In fact, they’re doing the opposite. They’re divesting.” The truth comes out in his own words. The state does not make a profit as long as the privately owned prisons are open. It is taking money away from the state, so they eliminate them from the equation. GEO Group and CoreCivic will be the companies affected by the new law. In their defense, they stated, “Private prisons are necessary in order to house a ballooning number of inmates.”
Bonta continued, “The data is indisputable. It shows that they have less access to health care, higher levels of escape, higher levels of recidivism, lower staffing, less training for staff, higher numbers of assaults on staff. People have died in these facilities. California is prepared to house all of its inmates without private prisons. In fact, following decades of growth, the percentage of people in American prisons is the lowest it’s been in 20 years. The decline is in part due to criminal justice reform measures at the federal and state level.” He failed to mention, it is because of the private prisons they have less crime and fewer issues within the prison walls.
A total near 4,000 detainees throughout the state will be moved over the next four years. Bonta concluded, “With less capacity, maybe they detain fewer individuals and decide they don’t need to do it. Maybe they build their own facilities in California, and also maybe they do move individuals out of state, and that’s why I think it’s important that other states act as California has acted.” Their line of thinking is to move their problems to other states. It shows how much California doesn’t care.