California lawmakers passed a bill on Wednesday that effectively shuts down the private industry in the state, The Guardian reported — including “four large immigration detention facilities that can hold up to 4,500 people at a time.”
The move has been heralded as a major win in the fight against for-profit prisons, as private prisons held about 7,000 Californians as recently as 2016. While the industry was once seen as a remedy for overcrowding in the state’s prison system, thousands of inmates have now been transferred to state-run facilities.
The Guardian noted that as of June, private prisons housed 2,222 of California’s total inmate population.
Though the law will not take effect until it is signed by Governor Gavin Newsom, the Democrat signaled last year that he supports the move.
The bill’s original language only applied to “contracts between the state’s prison authority and private, for-profit prison companies,” but assemblymember Rob Bonta, author of the measure, amended it to cover Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities in June.