Last updated on: 3/6/2024 | Author:

Should the Use of Private Prisons Continue?

Prison privatization generally operates in one of three ways: 1. Private companies provide services to a government-owned and managed prison, such as building maintenance, food supplies, or vocational training; 2. Private companies manage government-owned facilities; or 3. Private companies own and operate the prisons and charge the government to house inmates. For more on private prisons, explore the ProCon debate.

PRO (yes)


Donald Trump:

Editors’ Note: The Trump administration more than doubled the Obama administration’s spending on private prisons, largely for immigrant detention, according to a Newsweek analysis of government data.


Source for Editors’ Note: Chantal Da Silva, “Trump Administration Has Doubled Private Prison Spending With Most Money Spent on Detaining Immigrants: ‘They Are Not a Threat to Public Safety,’ Advocates Say,”, Sep. 25, 2019

CON (no)


Joe Biden:

“The federal government should not use private facilities for any detention, including detention of undocumented immigrants.”

Editors’ Note: Biden signed an executive order on Jan. 21, 2021, which states: “The Attorney General shall not renew Department of Justice contracts with privately operated criminal detention facilities.”


Lauren-Brooke Eisen, “Breaking Down Biden’s Order to Eliminate DOJ Private Prison Contracts,”, Aug. 27, 2021
Source for Editors’ Note: White House, “Executive Order on Reforming Our Incarceration System to Eliminate the Use of Privately Operated Criminal Detention Facilities,”, Jan. 21, 2021

Not Clear or Not Found

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr:

No position found as of Oct. 31, 2023.