BACKSLIDING

Sessions Rescinds Obama Guidance on Reducing Private Prisons

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) testifies at a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for Sessions to become U.S. attorney general on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. January 10, 2017.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday rescinded an Obama-era memorandum instructing the Bureau of Prisons to decline or not renew private prison contracts after their terms expire. In nixing such a guideline, Sessions wrote that the Obama rule “changed long-standing policy and practice, and impaired the Bureau’s ability to meet the future needs of the federal correctional system. For-profit prison operators largely supported President Trump’s campaign and stand to benefit from increased incarceration of undocumented immigrants expected under this administration.