[9/17/19] – Lawmakers in California Pass Bill Banning Private Prisons and ICE Detention Centers

The California State Assembly, in a 65-11 vote, passed Assembly Bill 32 on Wednesday, September 11th. The bill, authored by Assembly member Rob Bonta (D), would ban the use of private prisons and private detention facilities operated by Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE). Under the bill, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation would be barred from entering or renewing a contract with a private prison starting as early as next year and phasing them out entirely by 2028. In addition, the state would also be barred from sending prisoners to for-profit prisons located outside of the state. Despite the addition of an exception that allows the renewal or extension of contracts with private, for-profit prison facilities to provide housing for state prison inmates, the bill was passed with overwhelming support. The bill, considered a major feat for criminal justice reform advocates, will now head to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk for signature. Governor Newsom has until October 13th to either sign or veto the bill.

Instructors, click on the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom.

The deck contains a writing prompt, a debate question, as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for Lawmakers in California Pass Bill Banning Private Prisons and ICE Detention Centers




  • Writing: Explain why the bill represents a victory for criminal justice reform.
  • Debate: Private prisons should continue to operate in California.
  • Poll: Do you believe that Governor Gavin Newsom will sign the AB-32 bill into law?
  • Short Answer: Why is AB-32 considered a ‘flashpoint’ in California’s fight with the Trump administration over the treatment of immigrants?

Current Events Quiz                                                                                                               

1.) According to the bill, private prisons would be phased out entirely by

a.) 2020

b.) 2024

c.) 2026

d.) 2, 400

2.) As of June, an estimated _____ people incarcerated in the state of California were held in for-profit facilities.

a.) 1,450

b.)  1, 932

c.) 2,222

d.) 2, 400

3.) According to the Geo Group, a for-profit prison company, AB-32 works against the state’s Proposition 57 anti-_____ goals approved by voters.

a.) recidivism

b.) reintegration

c.) rehabilitation

d.) retribution

4.) AB-32 was passed with overwhelming support. (T/F)

5.) The bill is considered a major loss for immigration advocacy groups. (T/F)

6.) The legislation was originally intended to ban only contracts between California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and for-profit prisons. (T/F)


Featured Image: U.S. Customs and Border Control/wikimediacommons

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