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California lawmakers passed a bill on Wednesday banning private prisons from operating in the state - a move which will likely also lead to the closure of four large immigration detention facilities that can hold up to a combined 18,000 people, according to The Guardian.
The move is a dramatic shift for California, which used to rely on private prisons to reduce overcrowding in state-run facilities.
Bill - AB32 - Desk - Governor - Gavin
The bill, AB32, has moved to to the desk of Governor Gavin Newsom, who said last year he supported the ban - and committed to "end the outrage of private prisons once and for all" during his January inaugural speech.
There are currently four private prisons in California operated by the Geo Group, whose contracts expire in 2023 and cannot be renewed under the new legislation, unless ordered by a federal court in order to reduce overcrowding.
Addition - Justice - Reform - AB32 - Flashpoint
In addition to signaling a major criminal justice reform, AB32 also has become a flashpoint in California’s fight with the Trump administration over the treatment of immigrants.
The bill’s author, the assemblymember Rob Bonta, originally wrote it only to apply to contracts between the state’s prison authority and private, for-profit prison companies. But in June, Bonta amended the bill to apply to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency’s four major California detention centers.
Geo - Group - Scheme - State - Law
"I think Geo Group is realizing their scheme to circumvent state law is putting them in a place where they could end up being be nailed," said immigration attorney Hamid Yazdan Panah, who serves as the regional director for the Northern California Rapid Response & Immigrant Defense Network.
In 2011, the city of Adelanto signed an agreement with ICE to detain up to 1,300 immigrants facing deportation....
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