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WASHINGTON - In the eyes of former President Barack Obama's Justice Department, private prisons were a sort-of necessary evil - less safe and effective than facilities run by the government, but needed because of the volume of inmates in the federal system. When Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates ordered them to be phased out in favor of government-run facilities last year, she said she was able to do so only because the inmate population had declined, thanks to sentencing reform and other measures to keep people from serving long prison terms.

WASHINGTON - In the eyes of former President Barack Obama's Justice Department, private prisons were a sort-of necessary evil - less safe and effective than facilities run by the government, but needed because of the volume of inmates in the federal system. When Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates ordered them to be phased out in favor of government-run facilities last year, she said she was able to do so only because the inmate population had declined, thanks to sentencing reform and other measures to keep people from serving long prison terms.

WASHINGTON - In the eyes of former President Barack Obama's Justice Department, private prisons were a sort-of necessary evil - less safe and effective than facilities run by the government, but needed because of the volume of inmates in the federal system. When Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates ordered them to be phased out in favor of government-run facilities last year, she said she was able to do so only because the inmate population had declined, thanks to sentencing reform and other measures to keep people from serving long prison terms.