Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2021

Document Type

Undergraduate Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in International Relations


Political Science & International Relations


Dr. David A. Shirk


In an effort to reshape the US correctional system, one of President Joe Biden’s first executive orders ended future contracts between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and private prison corporations. Symbolic at best, this left in place the biggest money-maker of the private prison system, private immigration detention facilities. The contracts that guide US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities favor profit over detainee well-being. This research showcases the poor quality of private immigration detention facilities with a focus on access to legal representation. With financial and physical barriers preventing detainees from receiving legal help, the US detention system works against due process. As contracts under the DOJ were terminated, contracts under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and ICE must end in order to see a change in corrections.