Grassroots Leadership responds to exposé in The Nation highlighting abuse in federal prisons for immigrants

February 1, 2016

Organization calls on Department of Justice to end contracts with for-profit prison corporations; stop criminal prosecutions of migrants at the border

(AUSTIN, Texas) —  Last week, an exposé in the The Nation Magazine exposed medical neglect and deaths in controversial “Criminal Alien Requirement” (CAR) facilities, a network of for-profit prisons operated for the Federal Bureau of Prisons where immigrants are segregated during their incarceration.  The article, investigated by Seth Freed Wessler, found that dozens of cases where men have died in CAR prisons under disturbing circumstances.   

“This expose shows an appalling lack of oversight and accountability in private prisons that incarcerate immigrants for the federal government,” said Bob Libal, Executive Director of Grassroots Leadership.  “The Department of Justice should immediately investigate these allegations of medical neglect leading to death and should cancel contracts with private prison corporations responsible.”

Reacting to the article, Grassroots Leadership calls on the Department of Justice to immediately investigate the allegations of medical neglect, including those which may have led to deaths in custody, and to not renew contracts with the for-profit prison companies that operate this network for shadow prisons for immigrants.  

Grassroots Leadership has also called on Attorney General Loretta Lynch to end the criminal prosecution of migrants at the border that has driven an expansion in the number of incarcerated migrants in these private prisons operated by the BOP. Last summer, Grassroots Leadership joined 171 organizations in a letter calling on Lynch to end criminal prosecutions of migrants at the border. The organization launched a petition last month asking Attorney General Lynch to take action.

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Grassroots Leadership is an Austin, Texas-based national organization that works to end prison profiteering and reduce reliance on criminalization and detention through direct action, organizing, research, and public education.


Bob Libal,, 512-499-8111