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Biden says he ended private prisons, but his claim fails even the CNN factcheck

More mistakes by the Democratic frontrunner

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden tried to take credit for ending private prisons during his time under the Obama administration, but his claim failed even a CNN factcheck.

"No more mandatory minimums, period," Biden said during a speech at the South Carolina Democratic Party Convention. "End private prisons, which we did in our bill, period."

Many have criticized private prisons are being underfunded in order to satisfy the profit motive of the corporations that run them, and they have sought to end the practice. Supporters say the free market does a better job of providing incarceration than the government can.

But regardless of the debate, Biden's claim falls far short of the truth.

"Biden was not involved in a bill that ended, or would have ended, the use of private prisons," was the conclusion of a CNN factcheck.

Not only that, but if he was talking about an Obama-era policy to reduce private prisons, it wasn't even a "bill," but a memo.

Biden might have been referring to the Obama-Biden administration's 2016 decision to reduce the federal use of private prisons. That decision was conveyed to the Federal Bureau of Prisons in a memo from Sally Yates, then the deputy attorney general. There was no bill.

Even if Biden were inaccurately referring to the memo, CNN notes that his description was an exaggeration of what the memo did.

The memo did not apply to ICE, would not have applied to state-level private prisons, and was a measure to "reduce" their use, not to ban them completely.

The Biden campaign declined to comment to CNN on their factcheck on the record.

Here's more about the Democratic 2020 primary:

Democrats urge unity at South Carolina fish fry

One last thing…
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