Grassroots Leadership Blog

Key takeaways from new report on private prison payoff from the immigrant detention quota

A new Grassroots Leadership report released today, Payoff: How Congress Ensures Private Prison Profit with an Immigrant Detention Quota, documents connections between the rise of for-profit detention of immigrants and increased lobbying to the DHS Appropriations Subcommittee in Congress, which is responsible for the 'bed quota' or mandated minimum number of immigrants to be detained at any given time. This mandatory minimum for detentions has resulted in record profits for private prison corporations since 2009. 

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ACTION ALERT | Visitation rights at Texas county jails are under threat

Call NOW to protect visitation for families and their incarcerated loved ones

Video technology is threatening the visitation rights of people incarcerated at county jails across Texas, and we have a tremendous opportunity today and tomorrow to protect this right.  Please call and email the members of the House County Affairs Committee to let them know why protecting face-to-face visitation for inmates and their families matters to you, and ask them to pass HB 549 which would ensure that those incarcerated at Texas county jails are entitled to face-to-visits twice a week, and their loved ones will not be forced to pay to see them through a video chat service.  The County Affairs Committee will be debating the bill tomorrow morning,Thursday, April 9th.  See below for more background and talking points.

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The fight to #EndFamilyDetention gains momentum

Momentum to end family detention is growing quickly, due to a number of recent actions by detained women, faith leaders, legal groups, scholars, and activists. In case you've missed it, here are some of the biggest developments:

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Grassroots Leadership's roots in prison divestment, Part I: Kymberlie's story

In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s students across the U.S. and Canada kicked off a student-led movement against prison profiteering and the Prison-Industrial Complex more broadly.  By coincidence, long before the trajectory of their professional lives as advocates against our country’s over-reliance on criminalization and immigration detention was clear, two Grassroots Leadership staff members got their organizing feet wet as participants in their respective campus’ campaigns to end university contracts that facilitated prison profiteering,    

We release this three-part series now to harken back to our own roots in the struggle(s) for true justice, and to spotlight the re-emergence of a flourishing prison divestment movement in which students, again, are playing  a central role.  It is in this context that Grassroots Leadership and our long-time partner Enlace, are anchoring major national actions against CCA and the GEO Group, the country’s largest private prison companies, in May 2015.  We hope  that this series will elucidate the historic power that individuals have had on challenging the for-profit prison industry, and to compel participation in the exciting events on the horizon.

Kymberlie's Story, Earlham College, Class of ‘02

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Advocates Declare Victory After Contract to Privatize Terrell State Hospital Scrapped

After a 9 month battle, a coalition of mental health, labor, and civil rights groups, including Grassroots Leadership, was able to declare victory last week over GEO Care/Correct Care Recovery Solutions' efforts to take over the Terrell State Hospital. This effort was a privatization scheme that was part of the company's expansion ambitions into state hospital and civil commitment centers. Read more »

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