Grassroots Leadership and our allies are celebrating today as the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has announced that the notorious Dawson State Jail and Mineral Wells Pre-Parole Transfer Facility - both operated by for-profit prison company Corrections Corpo Read more about Victory in Texas - The Dawson State Jail Will Close!
Grassroots Leadership Blog
Grassroots Leadership, along with activists in Austin and Houstin, is gearing up for a second vigil outside of the IAH Polk Secure Adult Detention Center calling for the immediate closure of the facility as a first step towards ending immigrant detention. Read more about Humpday Hall of Shame: Keeping Immigrant Fathers Behind Bars
Carl Takei is a staff attorney with the National Prison Project of the ACLU. The ACLU has been a key partner in our efforts to put an end to for-profit incarceration, and this year's campaign to protest Corrections Corporation of America's "celebration" of their 30th anniversary. Last week in Nashville, on the eve of CCA's annual shareholder meeting, we co-hosted an educational panel on for-profit incarceration where Carl shared these remarks, which are an excellent synthesis of the the major trends that are bound by the private corporations that profiteer from imprisoning human beings.
Three trends – the mass incarceration paradigm, private for-profit prisons, and the rise of a massive immigration detention machinery – emerged within the past forty years. And there is a common thread linking them all: The private prison companies that profit from mass incarceration and immigrant detention.Read more about Trending: Mass Incarceration, For-Profit Private Prisons & the Rise of Immigration Detention
CIVIC (Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement) and the Jesuit Refugee Service have teamed up to produce a series of videos to train volunteers for immigrant detention visitation programs. Our own Rocio Villalobos, who coordinates the Austin-based Hutto Visitation Program along with Grassroots Leadership, is featured in their video on recruitment. The full press release from CIVIC is below, but first some words of wisdom from Rocio:
Last week Grassroots Leadership joined people from around the country in Nashville, TN to protest outside of Corrections Corporation of America's annual shareholder meeting where, this year, the for-profit prison company was "celebrating" their 30th anniversary. Among the protestors was long-time Grassroots Leadership ally Alex Friedmann who is a former prisoner and current President of the Private Corrections Institute (PCI). Alex spent six years in a CCA-operated prison and since his incarceration he has dedicated his life to criticizing the private, for-profit prison industry. To that end, he became a CCA shareholder in order to engage in shareholder activism. Alex owns enough shares in the company to attend shareholder meetings and to advance shareholder resolutions; a tool that he has used to try and force the hand of the company to acknowledge and address its record of abuse, neglect and mismanagment.Read more about Humpday Hall of Shame: CCA Refuses Moment of Silence to Honor Employee Slain During Prison Riot
On May 1st, we announced a series of protests and informational events that are taking place around the country in opposition of for-profit incarceration and Corrections Corporation of America’s celebrations of their 30th anniversary this year. Collectively, organizers across the nation are sending a message to CCA that thirty years of profiting from pain is nothing to celebrate!
The first event took place on Tuesday in Washington, DC where civil rights leaders, people of faith, criminal justice reform groups, and immigrant rights organizations protested outside CCA’s Correctional Treatment Facility. In preparation for the event, Seema Sadanandan, ACLU organizer in DC, gave three reasons why everyone should join the Public Safety and Justice Campaign, citing the deaths of Juan Villanueva and Catlin Carithers in CCA’s Adams County Correctional Center in Mississippi.Read more about Action in Arizona: CCA, GO AWAY!
After two puzzling celebrations -- Black History Month and Women's History Month -- CCA is back at it, this time with Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. We have our own ideas about CCA's treatment of people of color and, after the jump, a special message from Kat Brady, our ally in Hawai'i and longtime activist for criminal justice in her state.
Not surprisingly, Hawai'i incarcerates the largest proportion of Asian American and Asian Pacific Islander (API) individuals, and more than 1,700 people from Hawai'i are incarcerated in CCA facilities on the mainland. As a result, Asian/API men are disproportionately represented in CCA facilities relative to state-operated facilities. In state-operated facilities, Asian/API men represent 63% of the total population, whereas in out-of-state CCA facilities Asian/API men represent 69% of the total population. These facts make CCA's latest public relations exploit of people of color particularly nauseating. It's Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and you-know-who is "honoring" it! In his commemorative blog post, CCA CEO Damon Hininger writes,
"Last year, I visited Little Tokyo in Los Angeles, Calif. I was inspired by the preservation of history and values in the midst of other cultural influences in L.A. The fact that it remains a close-knit community is evidence that we all carry the strength to keep traditions alive and uphold standards set before us at CCA."
We had no idea that CCA holds up the preservation of history, traditions and culture and standards for their company! We decided to reach out to our new friend in Hawai'i, Kat Brady, to see what she knows about Hawai'i's incarcerated population in CCA facilities.Read more about Adding Insult to Injury: CCA "honors" Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
This year, Corrections Corporation of America, the nation's oldest and largest for-profit prison operator, is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Read more about Humpday Hall of Shame: 30 Years of For-Profit Prisons are Nothing to Celebrate!
Since 1996, Mississippi law requires that convicts serve at least 85% of their sentences. At that time the state began relying on private prison operators who are mandated to operate correctional facilities at 10% less than what it costs to run public facilities. Read more about Humpday Hall of Shame: Come on, Mississippi!