Nothing to Celebrate About For-Profit Prisons

May 15, 2013

Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) - 30 Years of Putting Profits Ahead of Justice and Safety

The Public Safety and Justice Campaign and members of immigrant rights, civil rights and faith communities are bringing a wave of protests that started in Washington D.C. last week, and continued Monday in Tucson, to the very doors of CCA’s shareholder meeting in Nashville to express outrage at the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the nation’s largest for-profit prison company.

Bob Libal, Executive Director of Grassroots Leadership said, “It’s time to end - not celebrate - for-profit incarceration and immigrant detention in the United States.”

The campaign will hold a forum in Nashville on the eve of the Corrections Corporation of America’s shareholder meeting and will protest outside the actual meeting Thursday, where a press conference will be held at 9:30 a.m.

CCA operates more than 60 facilities in 20 states and the District of Columbia with revenues that exceed $ 1.7 billion annually. “While CCA claims to save taxpayers money, private prisons have been shown to have higher costs to states, incarcerated persons, employees and communities,” said Alex Friedmann with the Human Rights Defense Center. “Beyond the monetary costs of private prisons, there are also the moral and social costs of incarcerating people for the purpose of generating corporate profit."

CCA’s Idaho Correctional Center is so violent that employees and prisoners call it the “Gladiator School.” According to a 2011 Associated Press report, the facility experienced more assaults in 2010 than all other Idaho state prisons combined. Recently, at the same facility, CCA acknowledged that its employees falsified 4,800 hours of staffing records, billing the state for security posts that were left vacant.   Carl Takei, Staff Attorney for the ACLU, said, “Letting our criminal justice system become a revenue stream for prison profiteers like CCA simply isn’t worth it.”

The Public Safety and Justice Campaign, along with civil rights leaders, organized labor, people of faith, criminal justice reform groups and immigrant rights organizations will protest outside CCA’s annual meeting on May 16 to say it’s time to end – not celebrate -- for profit incarceration and immigrant detention in the United States.

Gaby Marquez-Benitez of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition said, “Today’s immigration detention system should be seen as a human tragedy, not a chance to turn quick profits.”

Last Tuesday, a protest was held in Washington D.C. at CCA’s Correctional Treatment Facility in the nation’s capital.

On Monday in Tucson, dozens of local faith leaders, immigrants’ rights activists and prison reformers met outside the DeConcini Federal Building for speeches, chants and a skit involving a CCA piñata to protest the company’s 30th anniversary.

Nashville events:

The Forum – Wednesday, May 15, 7:00pm 
Location: Casa Azafran, 2195 Nolensville Pike, Nashville, TN
The forum will feature speakers who were previously incarcerated, immigrant rights and civil rights leaders, and national experts.

The Protest – Thursday, May 16, 9:00-10:30 a.m. (Press conference at 9:30am)
Location: CCA’s headquarters, 10 Burton Hills Boulevard, Nashville, TN
The protest will include a memorial to the imprisoned people and guards who have died in CCA facilities. 

Organizations participating in the forum and protest include the American Civil Liberties Union, Grassroots Leadership, Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, Children’s Defense Fund, Human Rights Defense Center, Justice Strategies, Mid South Peace & Justice Center, and the General Board of Church & Society of the United Methodist Church.




Nashville: Megan Macaraeg, Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition,

(615) 414-4364
Alex Friedmann, Human Rights Defense Center, 495-6568

National: Bob Libal, Grassroots Leadership, (512) 971-0487