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Advocates Hope DOJ Policy Change Leads To Fewer Private Prisons

The U.S. Justice Department has decided to stop using private prisons. In an announcement this week, the agency said it concluded they’re less efficient and less safe than government-run prisons.

One of the companies that decision will impact is Corrections Corporation of America, or CCA. The company held a call Friday morning for jittery investors after stock prices fell sharply following the Justice Department announcement.

CCA CEO Damon Hininger said the federal contracts affected made up about 7 percent of the company's total revenue.

"We provide customized solutions for our partners as they need them and that could be short term or long-term," Hininger said of the fluctuation.

None of the contracts for Arizona's 11 privately operated prisons or detention facilities will be impacted by the announcement.

One group that has been pushing to eliminate the use of private prisons in the U.S. is the American Friends Service Committee.

"It is hopefully a first step," said Caroline Isaacs, the executive director of the group’s Arizona branch in Tucson. "I think some of the statements could indicate that they may be looking at other federal contracts."

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.