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New California Bill Would Ban ICE Detention Centers and Private Prisons!


File this under “be careful what you wish for”!

Crazy California is at it again, introducing a new bill that seeks to ban private detention centers, which would include ICE!

Oh my!

Take a look:

Here are more details, from The Hill:

The California state Legislature has passed a bill that would ban the use of private prisons and some detention centers operated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the state.

Lawmakers in the California State Assembly passed Assembly Bill 32 in a 65-11 vote on Wednesday, a day after the state Senate voted overwhelmingly to approve the measure.

The bill, authored by Assembly member Rob Bonta (D), seeks to bar the state’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from entering into or renewing a contract with a private prison starting in 2020. The legislation also seeks to bar the state from housing inmates in private, for-profit prison facilities after Jan. 1, 2028.

It would also bar California from sending prisoners to for-profit facilities outside of the state.

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However, under an exception recently added to the bill, the department would be allowed to renew or extended a contract to house state prison inmates “in order to comply with any court-ordered population cap.”

Bonta said that he added the exception to increase the bill’s chances of getting green-lighted by Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

Bonta’s bill would also apply to for-profit detention centers operated by ICE.

ICE declined to comment on the California legislation but warned that state law cannot bind "the hands of a federal law enforcement agency," according to NBC News.

"We don't comment on pending legislation," Bryan D. Cox, acting press secretary for ICE told the network. "But any person under the impression that a state law in any way binds the hands of a federal law enforcement agency which manages a national network of detention facilities would be a false impression."

Here's the direct link to the Bill on the California legislative website.

Here's what Bonta posted:

Even Newsweek covered it:

California is set to deliver a major blow to the private prison industry after lawmakers voted to ban private prisons, including privately run U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers across the state.

On Wednesday, 65 California State Assembly members voted in favor of AB-32, the new legislation seeking to ban private prisons, while 11 members voted against it.

The legislation still needs to be signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom before it can become law, but he is expected to support the ban, given that he himself called for an end to the "outrage of private prisons once and for all" in his inaugural speech in January.

If signed, the new legislation would come into effect after the 2020 presidential election "on or after January 1, 2020" and would prohibit California's government from "entering into or renewing a contract with a private, for-profit prison to incarcerate state inmates."

The bill does appear to make an exception, however, allowing the renewal or extension of contracts with private, for-profit prison facilities to provide housing for state prison inmates "in order to comply with the requirements of any court-ordered population cap."

Assemblyman Rob Bonta, who authored AB-32, celebrated the bill's passage on Twitter Wednesday, priding California on being "on the verge of creating historic and needed reform."

"People are not commodities!" he said.

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The legislation makes clear to point out that the bill should apply to any "private detention facility" where "persons are incarcerated or otherwise involuntarily confined for purposes of execution of a punitive sentence imposed by a court or detention pending a trial, hearing, or other judicial or administrative proceeding."

Therefore, the bill's passage not only represents a victory for criminal justice reform, but it is also a major win for immigration advocacy groups, who have long railed against the use of private prison companies to house detained immigrants.

Under AB-32, four large immigration detention centers with the capacity to hold up to 4,500 people could be forced to shut down within the next five years.

All four are currently operated by the Geo Group, a major prison services contractor operating facilities across the country.

According to The Guardian, the contracts for all four prisons are set to expire in 2023 and cannot be renewed under the new bill.


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