California State PoliticsAmerican Government

California to End Private Prisons

Posted on in California State Politics · American Government

On October 11, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law that would create a state-wide ban on current and future contracts with all for-profit prisons including federal immigration detention facilities. The bill is set to take effect at the end of 2019 and comes after a long history of overcrowding and abuses in the California prison system, a problem that for-profit prisons initially tried to help correct.

Instructors, click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for California Prisons


“California will end use of for-profit prisons”

“California bans for-profit prisons and immigrant detention facilities”

“California bans private prisons, for-profit immigrant detention centers”

“Cruel and Unusual: A Guide to California’s Broken Prisons and the Fight to Fix Them”

“Newsom Can Protect Californians By Closing Private Prisons”

“California has a responsibility to ban private prisons”

“Ending private prisons in California will harm prisoners and detained migrants”


  • Writing: Describe the history of incarceration in the state of California. What are some of the key policies passed that have helped or hindered the criminal justice system in the state? Are these problems found in other states?
  • Debate: For-profit prisons establish an incentive to increase incarceration rates in order to increase profit while sacrificing inmate rehabilitation.
  • Poll: Should for-profit prisons be abolished?
  • Short Answer: What are some policies that can help reduce the number of deaths in California state prisons?

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