Less than two weeks after the US Justice Department (DOJ) announced the phase-out of private prisons, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said it will consider following suit with privatised immigration detention. These facilities have seen hunger strikes, riots, and scores of deaths under mysterious circumstances. The DHS decision would be far more consequential than the DOJ's; while the latter impacts only a fraction of the federal prison population, private prison companies hold more than 60 percent of an estimated 34,000 immigrant detainees and operate nine of the nation's 10 largest detention centres. But the change would only go so far: The vast majority of private prisons are at the state level, and are unaffected by federal policy. In this episode of The Stream, we speak to journalists whose reporting has exposed brutal conditions at private prisons and hear from voices on both sides of the issue. 

On this episode of The Stream, we'll speak to:

Robyn Barnard @robynyakira
Associate Attorney, Refugee Representation, Human Rights First

Shane Bauer @shane_bauer
Senior reporter, Mother Jones

Mark Bartlett @REENTRYcrusader
Former prison guard, activist

Adrian Moore @reasonpolicy
Vice President of Policy, Reason Foundation

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