Private prisons are prisons that are owned and operated by private companies in the United States. Prison privatization began because governments across the United States needed additional prison capacity they did not have. To choose the company that will run a certain prison, bids are held and the company with the most desirable bid wins. The company that gets chosen is in charge of taking over the daily operations of the prison, such as providing prisoners with supplies, hiring staff, providing prisoners with mandated programs, etc. As of 2018, private prisons in the United States house over 120,000 inmates – about 8% of the total prison population in the country.
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