CCA

Jul 9, 2015
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¡Ahora Sí!

Visitas alivian y llevan esperanza a indocumentadas detenidas

"Durante los últimos cinco años el programa de visitas Hutto Visitation Program ha buscado aliviar en parte el sufrimiento que viven las detenidas, al conectarlas con voluntarios de Austin.

La iniciativa es ejecutada por Grassroots Leadership, una organización que apoya causas relacionadas con justicia social, inmigración y activismo ciudadano, y les ofrecen amistad y les llevan esperanza mientras están confinadas.

Moncada vivía ansiosa, frustrada y, como muchas de las más de 500 mujeres que alberga el centro de detención T. Don Hutto, no sabía por cuánto tiempo debía pasar encerrada por su delito: entrar a Estados Unidos ilegalmente para no morir a manos del padre de sus hijos, aseguró. Su situación mejoró cuando conoció a Rocío Villalobos, una joven voluntaria del programa.

Para mujeres como Moncada, conocer a las voluntarias les da a las detenidas fuerza para seguir luchando por sus casos de inmigración y conseguir así un estatus legal, según sus organizadores y participantes." Read more about Visitas alivian y llevan esperanza a indocumentadas detenidas

Jul 6, 2015
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Latinos Health

Hepatitis A Vaccine in Adult Dose Given to Children in Detention Center

 

"Fox News reports that according to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), around 250 immigrant children detained in a facility in Dilley, Texas have been given the adult dosage of hepatitis A vaccines earlier this week. Spokesperson Richard Rocha says the children's parents have already been advised and counseled about potential side effects, although none of the children have shown any adverse risks yet.

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The Texas facility, constructed in 2014, is one of the three detention facilities that holds illegal immigrants. Activists called for the closure of the centers due to substandard services. Bethany Carson, immigration policy researcher and organizer of Grassroots Leadership, said these facilities lock up immigrants, causing lasting mental trauma and distress to people." Read more about Hepatitis A Vaccine in Adult Dose Given to Children in Detention Center

Jul 3, 2015
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The Austin Chronicle

The End of Family Detention?

"Immigrant advocates applauded changes to the Obama administration's family detention policy unveiled last week that has the lowering of bonds as the cornerstone of the revamping. Categorizing the change as a first step toward reform, activists continue to call to an end to the practice of holding immigrant families.

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Bob Libal, executive director of Grass­roots Leadership, also is calling for an end to the program. In May, his members joined more than 600 protesters – including a caravan of parishioners from Austin-based St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church – gathered outside the recently opened South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas, calling for its closure. 'I think there is some positive movement of Johnson's announcement,' he said. "They are feeling the impact of what has been unanimous outrage over the decision to incarcerate kids and moms. But I don't think it goes far enough."

Libal points out the built-in incentive to keep families detained, given the for-profit nature of the detention camps – operated by publicly held companies that bill the government $300 a day to detain each immigrant. 'There is no way to humanely detain a kid in one of these detention camps,' he adds." Read more about The End of Family Detention?

VIDEO: Survivor of Japanese incarceration during WWII takes us from Crystal City to Dilley

Dr. Satsuki Ina, a psychotherapist and professor emeritus at California State University — Sacramento was born in an incarceration camp in California, before moving with her mother to a camp in Crystal City, Texas. An advocate against family detention, Dr. Ina returned to Texas for a rally on May 2nd rally in Dilley, Texas. In this powerful video by Matthew Gossage, Dr. Ina visits Crystal City for the first time since childhood and talks about why detaining families is wrong.

A statement released by the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) earlier this month condemned the U.S. Government’s practice of detaining asylum-seeking families Read more about VIDEO: Survivor of Japanese incarceration during WWII takes us from Crystal City to Dilley

DHS Secretary admits that family detention is flawed, yet plans to continue inhumane policy

(AUSTIN, Texas) — Yesterday’s statement by DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson lays out “substantial changes” to the Administration’s family detention policy, but falls short of ending the detention of refugee families or closing the detention camps run by the for-profit prison corporations that benefit from mass family detention. Read more about DHS Secretary admits that family detention is flawed, yet plans to continue inhumane policy

Jun 20, 2015
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Austin American-Statesman

Immigration detention center quotas need revision

Two reports bring back to the forefront the issue of existing policies and financial incentives that stand in the way of due process for individuals in immigration detention centers.

Both reports released this spring — one by Austin-based nonprofit Grassroots Leadership and the other by Detention Watch Network — reveal the growing role private prison corporations play in the detention of immigrants due in part to a requirement by Congress to maintain a specific number of detention beds. The federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency spends nearly $2 billion annually on the detention of people. Private companies control about 62 percent of the detention beds used by ICE, according to the Grassroots report. Both reports call on Congress to eliminate the immigrant detention quota from its 2016 appropriations request.

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The two largest private prison companies involved in detention — Corrections Corporation of America and the GEO Group – were awarded nearly half a billion dollars from immigrant detention services in 2014 alone, according to the Grassroots report. Both companies received contracts to operate family detention centers in Texas following the child migrant crisis last year. The newly constructed 2,200-bed family detention center in Dilley is operated by CCA. The 530-bed detention center in Karnes City is run by GEO Group. Read more about Immigration detention center quotas need revision

Jun 5, 2015
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Fader

The Full Transcript Of Heems' Lecture On Police Brutality And South Asian American Apathy

A conversation on prison in America wouldn’t be complete without a mention of the prison industrial complex and private prisons. The term “prison industrial complex” is used to attribute the rapid expansion of the US inmate population to the political influence of private prison companies and businesses that supply goods and services to government prison agencies. People get paid off of prison, basically. The term is derived from the military industrial complex of the 1950s.

In 2010 the Department of Homeland Security adopted a bed quota that required Immigration and Custom Enforcement to detain about 34,000 individuals on any given day. The quota certainly did not benefit immigrants, but it did prove to be extraordinarily lucrative for the private prison companies that picked up the new business. A report released last week by Grassroots Leadership, a Texas non-profit, details how private prison companies have spent five years lobbying the government, not only to maintain that bed quota, but to enact conservative immigration reform that would continue to ensure a steady flow of inmates into its detention centers. So they get paid to put immigrants in beds in private prisons, in America. Read more about The Full Transcript Of Heems' Lecture On Police Brutality And South Asian American Apathy

Jun 8, 2015
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Fusion

These states’ prisons are so full that they have to ship inmates thousands of miles away

The North Lake Correctional Facility, which will reopen at the end of June after being closed for four years, will strictly house inmates from other states, as Michigan will send none of its own to the facility. It’s the latest development in the controversial practice of how some states send local prisoners thousands of miles away from home to serve their sentences.

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Indeed, studies have found that inmates who maintain family connections have lower rates of recidivism. A 2013 study on out-of-state prisons, conducted by Grassroots Leadership, an advocacy group that aims to end for-profit prisons, cited a prisoner who was only able to see his family twice in two years after being sent out of state. Previously, he had been seeing them every weekend, he said.

Across the nation, nearly 10,000 inmates are currently housed by private prisons outside the states where they were charged of a crime. Read more about These states’ prisons are so full that they have to ship inmates thousands of miles away

U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) reintroduced the Private Prison Information Act

As taxpayers we entrust the government to utilize our hard earned wages wisely.  Commonly, when we believe our tax dollars are misused, we exercise the rights afforded to us as a democratic society to hold those with power - lawmakers, leaders of agencies, etc. - to account.  One of the tools of our democracy’s accountability measures is the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), a law that give us the right to access information from the federal government.  FOIA requests are often used to uncover corruption, scandals, mismanagement and other shortcomings in the functioning of our public systems.  

However, our ability to hold the government accountable becomes compromised when it outsources core functions, like incarceration, to private companies.  Currently, federal U.S. agencies (Bureau of Prisons, ICE, and the U.S. Marshalls) have outsourced the management of prison and immigrant detention facilities to private, for-profit companies like Corrections Corporation of America, GEO Group, and MTC (Management and Training Corporation).  Private corporations are not subject to FOIA laws even though they assume the role of the federal government in the administration of U.S. federal carceral facilities and are compensated with public tax dollars.  This fact creates tremendous barriers to justice for those who are incarcerated in privately-run federal facilities because the people who are tasked with protecting their rights do not, in this moment, have the right to request information about what is happening inside of these facilities.  This lack of transparency contributes, in our opinion, to the rampant cases of mismanagement, neglect, and other types of prisoner abuse that we have tracked for decades in private facilities, such as those documented in our Dirty 30 report.  

Read more about U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) reintroduced the Private Prison Information Act

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