California Enacts Strongest-in-the-Nation Law to Ban Both For-Profit, Private Prisons and Detention Centers

Friday, October 11, 2019

Governor Newsom Signs Assemblymember Bonta’s Landmark AB 32

SACRAMENTO - Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) today praised Governor Newsom’s signing of AB 32 which makes California the first state in the nation to ban both for-profit, private prisons and civil detention centers.

“I am very thankful and extremely proud that Governor Newsom has signed my AB 32," said Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland). "This is truly a historic moment for California. By ending the use of for-profit, private prisons and detention facilities, we are sending a powerful message that we vehemently oppose the practice of profiteering off the backs of Californians in custody, that we will stand up for the health, safety and welfare of our people, and that we are committed to humane treatment for all."

“These Wall Street-owned for-profit, private facilities inhumanely treat people as commodities. These companies are incentivized to maximize profits and minimize costs— including the important "costs" of investments in programs, services and rehabilitation efforts that reduce recidivism rates and increase success for Californians upon their reentry into society,” Bonta said.

We've all seen the horrific humanitarian crisis playing out along the border. No human being deserves to be held in the well-documented cruel conditions in these for-profit, private facilities. For that reason, AB 32 was expanded to cover civil detention facilities as well as prisons.
AB 32 will end the use of for-profit, private prisons and detention facilities in California. AB 32 will prohibit the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from entering into a contract or renewing a contract with a for-profit, private prison facility located in or outside of the state, on or after January 1, 2020, and completely phase-out their use by 2028. California currently has four contracts with for-profit, private prison companies for criminal detention.  On the civil side, there are four detention centers being operated by for-profit, private companies in California that would not be able to be renewed or expanded after January 1, 2020 under AB 32.

“California is taking a national position of leadership on the importance of humanely treating all people being detained or incarcerated in our state and AB 32 will be a model for others across the nation,” Bonta said. “We cannot and must not be silent during this inflection moment in our history.”

Assemblymember Rob Bonta represents the 18th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Oakland, Alameda, and San Leandro and is the Assistant Majority Leader.