"This is the first step in the process of reducing - and ultimately ending - our use of privately-operated prisons," Deputy AG Sally Yates announced.
Some 2,858 inmates were reportedly held in solitary; some for 10, 20 or even 30 years, spending all but an hour or so of their day isolated in tiny cement-lined cells.
One of the "Angola 3" political prisoners, Herman Wallace, who spent 41 years in solitary confinement, was released from the Louisiana prison this week and tragically died three days later.
From at least 1997-2010, nearly 150 women were found to be sterilized while in prison,.
A hunger strike by at least 100 prisoners at Guantanamo, now in its fourth month, continues, has upped the pressure on the president and Congress to close the prison.
Last month California unveiled a comprehensive plan on how to ensure "a quality medical care system for years to come."
Breaking ranks with their GOP leadership, 10 Republican state senators voted with Democrats to defeat prison privatizing SB 2038.
Stiff opposition and a divided Florida chamber have temporarily halted a move to privatize 27 prisons in South Florida.
"This is the largest prisoner strike of any kind in recent US history," says Ron Ahnen of California Prison Focus.
After a long court battle, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, 5-4, on May 23 that California must lower its prison population by tens of thousands in the next two years, so the state can provide decent health care for those who remain.