D1A Statement on Biden Administration Executive Order
January 26, 2021
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Day 1 Alliance, the trade association representing private sector contractors working in corrections, released the following statement from National Spokesperson Alexandra Wilkes on the Biden Administration’s Executive Order issued this afternoon. The members of the Day 1 Alliance are CoreCivic, The GEO Group (GEO), Management & Training Corporation (MTC), and LaSalle Corrections.
“The administration’s Executive Order is a misguided attempt to blame longtime government contractors for a ‘mass incarceration’ problem they actually play zero role in driving. Private sector contractors house only 9% of federal inmates, and of those, hardly any are US citizens. In fact, the vast majority of contractor-operated facilities house criminal aliens who will be deported upon completion of their sentences, under a program created by Congress in the 1990s.
“As Fordham University professor and criminal justice expert John Pfaff states: ‘It ultimately is the public sector, not the private, that is at the heart of mass incarceration.’
“If this announcement were truly about taking on mass incarceration, shouldn’t it address the 91% of federally incarcerated men and women housed in government-run correctional facilities?
“Private sector contractors have been a small but valued part of the solution to serious challenges facing the US Department of Justice for decades, working closely with both Democratic and Republican administrations, including over the eight years that President Biden served as Vice President.
“According to federal budget data, private sector contractors deliver more than $100 million in cost savings to the US taxpayer when compared with government-run facilities. Our members have provided flexible, cost-effective solutions and been reliable partners offering dignified, respectful care to thousands of incarcerated men and women over the years.
“In announcing its EO, the administration cites a 2016 US Department of Justice Office of Inspector General report comparing contractor and Bureau of Prisons-run facilities. In fact, data collected by the Inspector General actually demonstrated that contractor-operated facilities are at least as equally safe, secure, and humane as BOP-operated institutions and experienced lower rates of inmate deaths; lower rates of guilty findings of inmate-on-inmate sexual assault; lower rates of allegations of staff-against-inmate sexual assault; lower rates of positive drug tests; and lower rates of overall inmate grievances. Further, the report’s authors admitted that they ‘were unable to evaluate all of the factors that contributed to the underlying data,’ and they failed to account for the differences in inmate populations housed in contractor-operated facilities, which almost exclusively house homogeneous criminal alien populations with a large proportion of gang affiliation, versus BOP-operated institutions housing predominately U.S. citizens.
“This EO and related efforts can also carry serious negative unintended consequences, including worsening conditions for incarcerated men and women, who may as a result be shunted off to overcrowded state and local jails that are not held to the same high standards as federal facilities.
“This EO is rooted in several faulty assumptions about the work of private sector contractors at the federal level. A few facts help separate the political rhetoric from the reality on the ground:
- Contractor-operated facilities house just 9% of the total federal prison population. This number goes down to 8.1% when state prison populations are factored in. As Fordham University professor and criminal justice expert John Pfaff states: “It ultimately is the public sector, not the private, that is at the heart of mass incarceration.”
- Federal budget data shows that contractor-operated facilities deliver more than $100 million in cost savings to the US taxpayer when compared with government-run facilities. According to Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) data, in FY 2018, the average daily cost to house an incarcerated individual in a low-security BOP facility was $92.46, compared to $66.63 for a private sector facility – a difference of approximately 28% or $25.83 per day. The U.S. taxpayer thus saves approximately $356,000 per day, or $130 million per year, by housing 14,000 federally incarcerated individuals in contractor-operated facilities rather than those operated by the BOP.
- On the federal level, the vast majority of contractor-operated prison facilities do not hold US citizens, but are almost exclusively for criminal aliens who will be deported upon completion of their sentences. These facilities are part of the Criminal Alien Requirement (CAR) Program, created by the U.S. Congress in the 1990s as a result of government studies which showed a material weakness in the federal government’s ability to identify and remove criminal aliens from the federal prison system. For security reasons, the federal government determined that this population should be separated from the general federal prison population.
- Of the federal inmates housed at contractor-operated facilities, only about 300 are U.S. citizens – just 0.2% of the total federal prison population, which today stands at 151,646. Today, there are 9 contractor-operated CAR facilities in the US, housing some 14,095 federal inmates – nearly all of them criminal aliens who have been convicted of felony crimes and who will he returned to their country of origin upon completion of their prison sentence.”
About the Day 1 Alliance:
The Day 1 Alliance (D1A) is a trade association representing private sector contractors helping government agencies address corrections and detention challenges in the United States. For more than 35 years, D1A members have worked with local, state, and federal governments led by members of both political parties to provide professional, humane, and respectful treatment to incarcerated and detained individuals. From day one, we understand we have a responsibility to provide safe and dignified care to those in our facilities. D1A members do not lobby for or against policies, regulations, or legislation that impact the basis for or duration of an individual’s incarceration or detention.
The of the Day 1 Alliance are CoreCivic, The GEO Group, Management & Training Corporation, and LaSalle Corrections.
Learn more at day1alliance.org and follow us on Twitter @TheDay1Alliance.