Grassroots Leadership In The News

Dec 4, 2013
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The Hutto News

Activists remember detained immigrants

The Son Armado, Las Krudas y Kiko Villamizar Concert for Immigration Prisoners was held Sunday afternoon from outside of the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor. It is a guarded, fenced-in, multi-purpose facility used to detain non-U.S. citizens awaiting the outcome of their immigration status. Texas United for Families, Grassroots Leadership, LULAC, Get Equal Texas, The Union, T. Don Hutto Visitation Program and a couple of student organizations from St. Edward’s University attended the event. Read more about Activists remember detained immigrants

Nov 30, 2013
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The Charleston Gazette

Statehouse Beat: Private prison company looking at W.Va.

Most recently, Charlotte-based Grassroots Leadership published a report, "Locked Up and Shipped Away: Interstate Prisoner Transfers and the Private Prison Industry," which looked at four states - California, Hawaii, Vermont and Idaho - that house inmates in out-of-state Corrections Corporation of America prisons.  "Nothing runs more contrary to the goals of public safety, rehabilitation, and justice than an industry that profits from keeping people caged," the report concludes.

Nov 30, 2013
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Valley News

Editorial: Vermont Should Stop Shipping Prison Inmates Out of State

Vermont considers itself a pretty enlightened place, and in many ways, it is. But it also has its blind spots. One of them was cast in sharp relief last week in a report that highlighted Vermont’s practice of shipping prison inmates out of state to be incarcerated in privately run, for-profit correctional facilities. This ought to be halted sooner rather than later, and not merely so the state can look at itself in the progressive mirror again. As a matter of public policy, it is inhumane, expensive and counterproductive. The report was released by a North Carolina-based organization called Grassroots Leadership, which describes itself as a social justice organization. It points out that Vermont is one of four states that export inmates to for-profit prisons, the others being California, Hawaii and Idaho.

Nov 22, 2013
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Salon.com

Humans shipped across the country: How America exports inmates to private prisons

Over 10,500 U.S. prisoners are currently being held in private prisons hundreds or thousands of miles away from the states that sent them there, according to a new report from the progressive group Grassroots Leadership. “The practice of shipping prisoners out of state is costly, it’s unsustainable, it’s hurting families …” report author Holly Kirby told reporters Wednesday. “These transfers allow states to avoid making common-sense reforms.”

Nov 21, 2013
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St. Albans Messenger

Prison Pop. Still Growing

Despite efforts to increase use of court diversion, reparative boards and other alternatives to incarceration, Vermont's prison population is increasing, with the state still sending 400 to 500 prisoners to facilities operated for profit by the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). ... Grassroots Leadership, a national social justice organization, argues that sending prisoners out of state increases recidivism by impeding rehabilitation of prisoners.

Nov 21, 2013
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Bennington Banner

New study: Vermont ships inmates to for-profit private prisons

Holly Kirby of Grassroots Leadership, a 33-year old national social justice organization, estimates in her report "Locked Up and Shipped Away" that a combined total of $320 million will be spent this year by California, Hawaii, Idaho and Vermont, to send their inmates between 450 and 3,000 miles from home. Read more about New study: Vermont ships inmates to for-profit private prisons

Nov 20, 2013
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Burlington Free Press

Study criticizes Vermont for private-prison use

Vermont is one of only four states that sends some of its prisoners to out-of-state, privately run jails, a practice sharply criticized in a new study. “The interstate transfer of prisoners is a costly band-aid, not a root cause solution, to the problem of prison overcrowding and our nation’s mass imprisonment crisis,” the study by the Austin, Texas-based Grassroots Leadership group concluded. “On the contrary, it perpetuates our broken justice system.”

Nov 20, 2013
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Hawai'i Free Press

Locked Up & Shipped Away: New report exposes private prisons profiting from sending prisons far from home

While shipping prisoners away hurts families, it also funnels hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars every year into the for-profit prison industry. Today conducted a telefonic press conference with advocates in all four states that send prisoners out-of-state along with family members of those incarcerated calling for the end of this shameful practice. Read more about Locked Up & Shipped Away: New report exposes private prisons profiting from sending prisons far from home

Nov 20, 2013
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Hawai'i Reporter

REPORT: Over 10,500 Prisoners from CA, VT, ID and HI are Incarcerated in Out of State Prisons

In a new report released today, November 20th, Grassroots Leadership, a 33-year old Southern-based national social justice organization that works to end for-profit incarceration, documents the widespread practice of transferring prisoners from California, Vermont, Hawaii and Idaho across state lines to for-profit private prison facilities. Read more about REPORT: Over 10,500 Prisoners from CA, VT, ID and HI are Incarcerated in Out of State Prisons

Nov 20, 2013
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KTVB Boise, Idaho

Study says shipping prisoners out of state is bad for them and for state

The new study is by Grassroots Leadership, an organization that wants to end private prisons. They claim that shipping prisoners out of state to private prisons costs too much, and takes prisoners too far from their families, which hurts their chances of rehabilitating. Holly Kirby, a researcher for Grassroots Leadership says, "It's clear that the practice of shipping prisoners out of state is costly, unsustainable, and hurting families." Read more about Study says shipping prisoners out of state is bad for them and for state

Oct 26, 2013
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Truthout

President Obama and Attorney General Holder: End the For-Profit Operation Streamline Scheme Now!

[Operation Streamline's] existence is unique, not just in the United States, but to the world. And there is a good reason for that. There isn’t even any pretense of justice - not our opinion, but that of the attorneys who have told us as much. Also, our vocabulary seems to be inadequate to describe this obscene operation. Suffice to say it is both a scheme to criminalize migrants and a scheme to enrich private prison corporations. The Grassroots Leadership organization estimates that the cost of the program may be higher than $400 million per year. Read more about President Obama and Attorney General Holder: End the For-Profit Operation Streamline Scheme Now!

Aug 30, 2013
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HuffPost Politics

U.S. Must End War on Immigrants and Addiction to Private Prisons As Well

If the government is serious about reducing the federal prison population, it must end its reliance on for-profit prisons and repeal costly programs that have made immigrants the fastest growing part of the federal prison population. It can start by repealing Operation Streamline and directing U.S. Attorneys to stop prosecuting tens of thousands of immigrants for nothing more than crossing the border. Read more about U.S. Must End War on Immigrants and Addiction to Private Prisons As Well

Aug 28, 2013
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The Atlantic

The Winners in Immigration Control: Private Prisons

But immigrant advocates say the private prison industry is always lobbying for more detention beds. And the consequences of government spending on prison beds can be profound, said Bob Libal, director of Grassroots Leadership, an immigration advocacy group.  Congress has appropriated funds to pay for housing 34,000 illegal immigrants a day, and ICE officials "interpret that as a mandate to fill those beds regardless of what the situation outside is," said Libal. "It keeps people in detention and helps [companies'] bottom line, because half of those 34,000 beds are operated by private prison corporations."

Aug 23, 2013
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HuffPost Business

War on Undocumented Immigrants Threatens to Swell U.S. Prison Population

"The war on immigrants is surpassing efforts to reform the war on drugs," said Bob Libal, executive director of Grassroots Leadership, a criminal justice advocacy group. "We will not be able to reduce the federal prison population unless we stop prosecuting so many people for immigration violations." Read more about War on Undocumented Immigrants Threatens to Swell U.S. Prison Population

Aug 22, 2013
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Texas Observer

Public Defender: Prison Reform Must Include Undocumented Immigrants

The federal government spends $1 billion per year on jailing immigration defendants, according to Grassroots Leadership, a non-profit dedicated to fighting private prisons. As Sam Sparks, a federal district judge in Austin stated, the cost of immigration prosecutions, in which the immigrant doesn’t have a significant criminal record, is “simply mind boggling.”

Aug 15, 2013
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The McAllen Monitor

50 groups sign letter opposing McAllen's private jail project

"For-profit prisons are the wrong choice for Texas and the wrong choice for McAllen," according to the three-page letter.  "We urge you to abandon plans to contract with a private prison company to construct a for-profit prison in McAllen."  An attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union and the executive director of Grassroots Leadership, an advocacy group opposed to private prisons, met with Mayor Jim Darling on Thursday.  They discussed concerns about inmate conditions, lawsuits and staffing at private prisons. Read more about 50 groups sign letter opposing McAllen's private jail project

Jul 26, 2013
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In These Times

‘Bargain’ on Immigration Would Feed Prison Profits

Though the private prison industry has denied lobbying directly for prison reform (although executives have acknowledged how their businesses stand to profit), the enforcement-heavy proposals bear the fingerprints of the industry's longstanding backdoor political influence. Research by Grassroots Leadership, Detention Watch and various media outlets reveals that private prisons have spent millions on federal lobbying, and in the last election season alone, donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the coffers of governors, federal candidates and both political parties. Read more about ‘Bargain’ on Immigration Would Feed Prison Profits

Jul 16, 2013
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Atlanta Daily Word

Private Prison Company Increases Profits as More Blacks Land in Prison

Grassroots Leadership, a multi-racial organization working to end social and economic oppression, exposed the sordid and controversial history of the “nation’s oldest and largest for-profit private prison corporation” in the report titled, “THE DIRTY THIRTY: Nothing to Celebrate About 30 Years of Corrections Corporation of America.” The report chronicled a history of prisoner abuse, escapes, poor labor conditions, and lawsuits.

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