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Private Prison Company Operating In Oklahoma Reacts To Biden's Executive Order

greatplainscorrectionalfacility_hintonok.jpg
The GEO Group
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Great Plains Correctional Facility in Hinton, Okla. is operated by The GEO Group.

President Joe Biden ordered the Department of Justice on Tuesday to stop using private companies to house federal prisoners.

The order resurrects an Obama-era decision to phase out use of private prisons, which was overturned by the Trump Administration.

The order says taking profit-incentives out of the federal prison system is a necessary step towards decreasing prison populations. The order also criticizes contract prisons for offering fewer rehabilitation programs than federally controlled prisons and for having more dangerous environments.

A 2016 report from the Justice Department’s Inspector General found contract prisons were less safe than government prisons and needed more federal oversight.

The GEO Group, a private prison company operating in Oklahoma, disputes that report’s findings. A company spokesperson said the order is trying to solve a nonexistent problem.

"President Biden’s Executive Order merely represents a political statement, which could carry serious negative unintended consequences, including the loss of hundreds of jobs and negative economic impact for the communities where our facilities are located, which are already struggling economically due to the COVID pandemic," said a company statement.

The company incarcerates more than 1,500 federal prisoners in Oklahoma.

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