Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, says he will introduce a criminal justice reform bill next week, calling the current system “broken,” reports The Hill. “My legislation will eliminate federal, state and local contracts for privately run prisons within 2 years. It will reinstate the federal parole system. It will increase oversight and eliminate the overcharging of prisoners by private companies for banking and other services,” Sanders said in a statement.
He added that it would “end the mandatory quota of immigrants detained. It will require ICE to improve the monitoring of detention facilities and eliminate private detention centers within 2 years.” According to Sanders’s campaign, more than 8 percent of those incarcerated in state and federal prisons are in facilities that are privately owned, and most of those detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement are being held in private facilities. Sanders’s legislation comes as House lawmakers are also expected to unveil criminal justice reform legislation this month. A separate group of senators, including Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, have also been trying to reach a deal on a reform bill.