Leftists have manufactured a new emerging scandal, accusing the US Marshals Service of defying an executive order by President Biden that bans the use of private prisons.
Incensed Democrats are demanding answers and want an investigation into why private prisons are still being used to house inmates. The progressive media is howling over the find as well almost three years after Biden signed his executive order telling the Justice Department to not renew its contracts with private prison companies.
“The order restored an Obama-era policy first announced in 2016—and later suspended by the Trump administration—after a damning federal report found that private federal prisons were less safe and less secure than their publicly run counterparts. No longer would the Bureau of Prisons sign deals with corporations to lock up people serving federal prison sentences. Nor would the US Marshals Service, in charge of detaining people while they await trial on federal criminal charges, enter or renew contracts with those same companies,” Mother Jones reported disingenuously spinning the situation.
“Or, at least, that was the idea. And over the last three years, the Bureau of Prisons has indeed ended its use of private prisons—moving the roughly 14,000 people it previously held in private facilities into government-owned ones as of last December. But the Marshals Service is a different story. Among the roughly 63,000 people held in USMS custody each night, the ACLU has found that about 1 in 3 still go to sleep in a detention center run by a private prison company,” the notoriously leftist outlet stated.
I’m joining @SenWarren and my colleagues to demand answers and urge the end of this practice.
— Senator Peter Welch (@SenPeterWelch) December 20, 2023
A letter was signed by nine Senate Democrats and sent to Marshals Service Director Ronald Davis and Attorney General Merrick Garland on Tuesday, demanding to know what was going on and why anyone would dare not follow Biden’s executive edict.
“The Marshals Service must end its abuse of loopholes to circumvent the order, which allows these private jails to operate unsafe facilities and profit from mass incarceration,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the letter’s lead signatory, declared in a breathless statement given to Mother Jones, highlighting her faux outrage over the status of housing inmates. “We have a basic responsibility to keep detainees safe.”
Mother Jones goes on to detail how Democrats see the US Marshals Service as sidestepping Biden’s mandate.
“The letter notes several ways in which USMS has continued to house people in private prisons. First, the agency has been using municipalities as go-betweens to avoid directly hiring private prison companies. USMS has long made deals with town or county governments to keep USMS detainees in their local jail,” the progressive bullhorn wrote.
Health care is a human right. But Wellpath, the country’s largest private provider of prison health care, has been denying care, delaying treatments & putting mental health patients in solitary confinement.
I’m calling for answers. https://t.co/LTyaXZGNVP
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) December 20, 2023
“But in some cases, that local government then turns around and hires a private prison company as a subcontractor. This pass-through mechanism allowed USMS to keep detainees in the 2,016-bed Northeast Ohio Correctional Center, owned and run by CoreCivic, one of the country’s largest private prison operators. When USMS’s contract with CoreCivic expired in May 2021, USMS signed a new contract with Mahoning County, which in turn signed a deal with CoreCivic,” Mother Jones wrote.
“This use of a pass-through agreement appears to be the worst of both worlds: detainees remain in the same private facility, yet USMS pays more for the facility’s operation and has even less oversight of conditions at the facility,” Democrats wailed in their letter.
The outrage spewing forth over using private prison contractors just went on and on and on.
“Second, the White House Counsel’s Office appears to be granting the USMS some case-by-case exemptions to the executive order. The OIG’s report on the Ohio matter, for instance, noted that USMS told investigators that the White House had approved the arrangement with Mahoning County and CoreCivic,” Mother Jones reported.
“While we have no reason to doubt such approval, we found no documentation of the approval in the materials provided to us, and we were told that no such documentation existed,” the OIG report contended.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks in Rock Hill, SC: “We have a government that works terrifically for people who want to invest in private prisons and private detention centers, just not for the human beings whose lives are torn apart by those institutions.” pic.twitter.com/qJ6YMCgru8
— The Hill (@thehill) September 29, 2019
The whole dust-up over the matter began with the ACLU last year when it obtained a list of US Marshals Service detention centers in response to an unrelated records request.
“The Marshals Service has apparently decided that, despite [the executive order], it can continue to pay for-profit prison companies so long as they are technically subcontractors rather than contractors,” Kyle Virgien, senior staff attorney at the ACLU’s National Prison Project, said in a letter to Davis on September 18.