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U.S. attorney general rescinds Obama-era memo phasing out private prisons

WASHINGTON, Feb 23 (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department has rescinded a memo issued by the Obama administration that phased out the use of private contractors to run federal prisons.

In a memo dated on Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Obama policy impaired the government's ability to meet the future needs of the prison system. The Obama administration said privately operated prisons were less safe and a poor substitute for government-run facilities.

(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Eric Walsh)