Prison deaths exposed: BOP knew of abuse in federal prisons for immigrants

June 15, 2016

The Department of Justice must end contracts with for-profit prison corporations and stop criminal prosecutions of migrants crossing the border

(AUSTIN, Texas) —  An exposé published today exposes that the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) was aware of grave health deficiencies in CAR facilities for years, but failed to force compliance.

The Nation Magazine released part two of an exposé revealing the medical neglect and deaths in controversial “Criminal Alien Requirement” (CAR) facilities — the network of for-profit prisons operated for the BOP where immigrants are segregated during their incarceration. More than half of the contract renewals or extensions between 2007-2015 came after the most recent inspection report indicated a repeat deficiency or higher level “significant finding.” Furthermore, the report uncovers allegations by BOP contracting officials that senior BOP officials blocked contract termination despite serious quality and value concerns, and that former BOP officials who went to work for for-profit operators influenced contracting decisions.    

“This exposé reveals that the BOP is complicit in the deaths and abuse 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 and the BOP should cancel contracts with the private prison corporations responsible.”

Reacting to the article, Grassroots Leadership calls for an investigation into the allegations of insufficient monitoring and corruption in BOP contracting for CAR prisons, which led to the perpetuation of medical neglect and deaths in the facilities. The BOP should cease new solicitations for CAR prisons and immediately phase out all existing CAR prisons to eliminate this network of 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.

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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.


Bethany Carson,, 512-499-8111