President Joe Biden will order the federal government not to renew contracts with private prisons, White House Domestic Policy Adviser Susan Rice told reporters at a White House press conference Tuesday.
Rice later clarified that the order only applies to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and not other federal agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The private prisons order is one of two that Biden plans to sign Tuesday aimed at addressing racial inequality. It is unclear how long it will take to fully remove private prisons from the DOJ, as the order allows existing contracts to play out. (RELATED: Biden’s Economic Plan For ‘Advancing Racial Equity’ Includes Reforming 2 Of The Trump Administration’s Hallmark Actions)
An important note: Biden’s EO to not renew private prisons only applies to Department of Justice facilities and not to the Department of Homeland Security’s detention facilities which includes privately operated immigration detention centers.
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) January 26, 2021
Rice argued that private prisons have been found to be worse for the health of both inmates and prison guards when compared to government-run prisons. Biden is also set to stem the flow of military-grade equipment to police departments across the country.
“America has never lived up to its founding promise of equality for all, but we’ve never stopped trying,” Biden tweeted Tuesday morning ahead of the signing ceremony. “Today, I’ll take action to advance racial equity and push us closer to that more perfect union we’ve always strived to be.”
America has never lived up to its founding promise of equality for all, but we’ve never stopped trying. Today, I’ll take action to advance racial equity and push us closer to that more perfect union we’ve always strived to be.
— President Biden (@POTUS) January 26, 2021
Biden spent much of his first six days in office signing executive orders revoking orders set in place by President Donald Trump. He revoked Trump’s ban on transgender Americans serving in the military Monday. He also cancelled Trump’s plan to end coronavirus travel bans from the U.K., Europe and Brazil.