The Department of Justice is ending the use of private prisons

The Department of Justice announced in a memo on Thursday that it will be phasing out the use of private prisons for federal inmates, the Washington Post reports.

In the memo, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates told officials that the Department of Justice’s goal is “reducing — and ultimately ending — our use of privately operated prisons.”

Yates directed officials to either “substantially reduce” or decline to renew contracts for private prison operators.

“They simply do not provide the same level of correctional services, programs, and resources; they do not save substantially on costs; and as noted in a recent report by the Department’s Office of Inspector General, they do not maintain the same level of safety and security,” Yates wrote in the memo.

“They simply do not provide the same level of correctional services, programs, and resources; they do not save substantially on costs; and … they do not maintain the same level of safety and security,” Yates wrote.

The move comes in the wake of a blistering report from the Justice Department last week, which found that private prisons typically resulted in more safety and security incidents per capita than their Federal Bureau of Prison counterparts.

The Department of Justice noted in the report a series of incidents at private prisons that have raised alarm, including the death of a correctional officer at the Adams County Correctional Center in Natchez, Mississippi in 2012, as well as riots and assault of prison staff at multiple facilities.

“Now with the decline in the federal prison population, we have both the opportunity and the responsibility to do something about that,” Yates told the Washington Post.

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