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A record number of lawmakers may be calling for shorter sentences and less people in prison. But in the prison industry, contracts with states and local jurisdictions commit them to filling private prison beds — or pay them to keep those beds empty.
A federal judge held one of the world’s largest private prison firms in contempt Tuesday, after it repeatedly failed to staff key prison security positions at an Idaho facility and falsified staffing documents, in violation of a 2011 court settlement.