On Monday, Vtdigger reported that this week the number of Vermonters incarcerated out-of-state will drop to the lowest number in a decade, with Vermont officials slowly bringing prisoners home from a Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) prison in Kentucky. Read more about Will CCA punish Vermont for progress? Even in the face of penalties, VT Corrections Commissioner brings prisoners home
Grassroots Leadership Blog
In a September 2014 press release Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) CEO Damon Hininger stated, “We are determined to prove that we can play a leadership role in reducing recidivism and that we have every incentive to do so. The interests of government, taxpayers, shareholders, and communities are aligned. We all just need to recognize that and commit to that.” The media framed this apparent sea change for the largest private for-profit prison company as sound reaction to the realities of incarceration and recidivism; that reincarceration is costly, largely because rates of recidivism remain high. Recent studies have found that recidivism is higher than average at privately operated prisons.
At Grassroots Leadership we know that investing in re-entry and rehabilitation is a key component to driving down rates of incarceration, but we weren’t so quick to applaud what seemed to us a dubious announcement by CCA. How is it that an industry that relies on ever-increasing numbers of people behind (their) bars could stay in business if it’s suddenly going to invest in getting and keeping people out? The plain and simple answer is that it can’t, unless it changes its business model.Read more about Humpday Hall of Shame: CCA, put your money where your flimsy PR campaign is
In mid-October I had the good fortune to be invited on a trip to the border of Texas and Mexico. I was auditing a class at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary called, “The Church, The Borderlands, and The Public Good”—all themes that I wrestle with as I learn more about immigration issues during this year of service for my church.
So far, I had felt connected to the work I'm doing here at Grassroots Leadership, and grounded in the knowledge that I am effecting systemic and individual change. The day I started was the day we started the campaign to get Sara and Nayely released from Karnes. Then I met Sara and Nayely when I took them to the hospital for an appointment. When I visited Hutto I met another woman who has been severely affected by the violence in Central America, and the subsequent violence of being locked in a prison in the country she fled to—the United States. Going to the border in October made the work that I do on the immigration team at Grassroots Leadership feel more realistic.
Read more about Confronting the border
The view of the bridge between Mexico and the U.S.
As you’re making plans for the New Year, allow me to share a story about the recent successful toy drive for the children who are detained at the Karnes County Family Detention Center over the holidays. I hope it inspires you to make visiting one of your New Year’s resolutions. Read more about Is visiting immigrants in detention one of your New Year’s resolutions?
We are pleased to welcome two new members to our Board of Directors this year - Jeremy Collins of Durham, North Carolina and Silvia Mintz of Houston, Texas.
Read more about Grassroots Leadership is pleased to welcome new board members Jeremy Collins and Silvia Mintz
This year, we are honoring two long-time members of the Grassroots Leadership board, June Rostan and Pete Tepley, who are finishing their terms on the board of the organization.
Read more about Grassroots Leadership honors outgoing board members June Rostan and Pete Tepley
At Grassroots Leadership, we believe no one should profit from the incarceration of human beings. Every day, we confront a for-profit prison system that spends millions of dollars to ensure a steady stream of people fill their prisons and detention centers.
With your help, we are able to make an impact even against this well-funded opposition. Our hard-working staff, board, volunteers, allies, and donors organize for policies that reduce our nation's tragic reliance on incarceration and fight to end the profit motive in our criminal justice, immigration detention, and treatment systems.
Thank you for all your support of Grassroots Leadership. Our work would not be possible without you.
Please considering making a year-end donation today towards our work. You can also mail a donation to Grassroots Leadership, PO Box 36006, Charlotte, NC, 28236.Read more about Help Grow Grassroots Leadership in 2015!
Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the same for-profit prison corporation opening a controversial new detention center for refugee families this week in Dilley, Texas, accidentally tear-gassed children last week at a South Texas middle school near another one of its prisons. Read more about UNBELIEVABLE: Private prison corporation opening new family detention center accidentally tear-gassed children at S. Texas school
Since 2009, the Obama Administration has considered a number of reforms to make civil immigration detention more “civil” and acceptable to the public, including the release of new guidelines for ICE facilities in 2011. Read more about The myth of “civilizing” civil immigration detention