Grassroots Leadership Blog
Despite a combined revenue of more than $3.2 billion in 2012, private prison companies like GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) are typically careful not to highlight the fact that they exist to make a profit. But, regardless of what their PR teams may lead you to believe, these companies have business models that rest on perverse incentives — the more people they incarcerate the stronger their bottom line. Read more about Humpday Hall of Shame: De-Coding Prison Profiteering
This settles it.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Daniel H. Ragsdale told members of Congress in a letter last month that “...while immigration detainers are an important part of ICE's efforts..., they are not mandatory as a matter of law."Read more about ICE Director admits: “Immigration detainers... are not mandatory as a matter of law.”
On February 22, 2014, Grassroots Leadership, the Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition and supporters hosted a candidates forum at Faith Presbyterian Church. More than 200 people attended, comprised of members of the immigrant community, advocates, people of faith and other community members. Brigid Shea, Richard Jung, and Garry Brown, all of whom are vying for the Precinct 2 County Commission seat, were in attendance. Andy Brown and Sarah Eckhardt, both of whom are running for Travis Count Judge, also attended. Each candidate addressed the community's concerns and offered methods by which they, if elected, would ensure that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers are no longer honored in Travis County.Read more about County Commission, Judge Candidates Promise to end Secure Communities
In Elko County, Reno, Nevada the County Commissioner’s Court just approved a shameful plan by Sheriff Jim Pitts to charge those in county jails for medical care, food, and even for their “stay.”Read more about Humpday Hall of Shame: Nevada County Charges Jailed Persons for Meals, Doctor Visits
Grassroots Leadership is proud to share an exciting new study by our board member, Christopher Petrella. Christopher is a doctoral candidate in African American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley and re Read more about Outstanding Recognition for Study on Private Prisons and People of Color
People have been saying for years that there is a deportation crisis in Travis County, Texas, fueled by the federal S-Comm (Secure Communities) program in the jail. Read more about Humpday Hall of Shame: Yes, Austin. You have a deportation crisis.
Thanks to the Texas Civil Rights Project, Grassroots Leadership recently learned about and testified against the removal of in-person visits at the Travis County Jail. This harmful policy has limited all visiting rights to computer-based interactions even if loved ones physically visit the jail. The provider of the video conferencing technology is a private Dallas-based company, Securus, which makes $30 million each year on contracting call and video visitation services with jails and prisons.
The video “visitation” system, which costs $20 for 20 minutes, puts additional financial hardship on families, has a history of not working but still charging users, and has been used to violate attorney-client privilege through the recording and sharing of conversations.