CCA

Oct 23, 2015
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The Nation

 The Department of Homeland Security’s ‘Baby Jails’

The civil-rights group Grassroots Leadership filed a lawsuit against the Texas Department of Family Services, challenging its institution of the emergency rule without a full public-review process. Although allowing public comments might not have swayed the authorities, says Cristina Parker, the group’s director of immigration programs via email, “we certainly hope public outcry would have made a difference in their decision.”

The detained families are an even more muted part of the public outcry, walled off from the outside world, largely lacking any legal representation. But a group of mothers who were detained at Karnes for 11 months explained in an August letter to the president exactly what kinds of conditions their children required:

This nation for us is our refuge and protection. We do not ask more than that and we urge you to end all detention. We must forge in our children healthy minds that are free from violence without having them go through the nightmare of being locked up for months.

Read more about  The Department of Homeland Security’s ‘Baby Jails’
Oct 9, 2015
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Univision

Juan Carlos Ramos, el hispano que interrumpió a Hillary Clinton

Unos 23,000 inmigrantes se encuentran detenidos cada noche en prisiones privadas que manejan corporaciones contratadas por la Agencia Federal de Prisiones. Aproximadamente un 62% de todas las camas de detención para inmigrantes están en manos de corporaciones privadas, por encima de un 49% en 2009, según Grassroots Leadership, un grupo que busca dar fin a la encarcelación con ánimo de lucro.

Clinton misma denunció a estas compañías este año durante un discurso en Las Vegas. “No sé si muchos estadounidenses saben que muchas de las facilidades de detención de inmigrantes son dirigidas por compañías privadas, las cuales tienen un incentivo para llenarlas”, dijo Clinton, refiriéndose a un mandato congresional que obliga a funcionarios de inmigración a tener 34,000 camas disponibles cada noche.

“Entonces salen y buscan a gente para recibir pagos a base de cuántas camas están llenas. Eso no me tiene sentido”, dijo Clinton.


Pero Ramos cree que Clinton lo dice solo para ganarse el voto latino.

“Nuestro mensaje a Hillary Clinton es simple: los jóvenes inmigrantes no confían en ti. Es tiempo de abandonar el dinero de las prisiones y apoyar a nuestra comunidad—no puedes tener ambas cosas”, dijo Ramos en un comunicado antes de la protesta. “Cada dólar que su campaña recibe de prisiones privadas socava sus promesas a favor de los inmigrantes, y nuestra comunidad no será engañada”. Read more about Juan Carlos Ramos, el hispano que interrumpió a Hillary Clinton

Oct 9, 2015
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Fusion

Meet Juan, the DREAMer who interrupted Hillary Clinton’s big speech

Roughly 23,000 immigrants are held each night in private prisons that are contracted out to corporations by the Bureau of Prisons. An estimated 62% of all immigration detention beds in the U.S. are operated by for-profit prison corporations, up from 49% in 2009, according to a report released earlier this year by Grassroots Leadership, a group whose mission it is to end for-profit incarceration. Read more about Meet Juan, the DREAMer who interrupted Hillary Clinton’s big speech

Sep 27, 2015
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The Uptake

Religious Leaders Don’t Want A For-Profit Prison In Minnesota

CCA “has a horrible track record of abuse and neglect of prisoners and so we’re especially opposed to any reopening of that facility, says Lars Negstad, Strategic Campaigns Coordinator for ISAIAH.

Grassroots Leadership report on CCA’s 30 years of operation details the company’s problems, including sexual abuse of prisoners, and incompetent guards who are paid very little.

“We think we should start scaling back the number of prisons,” says Stevensen. “One of the things that we know is that if you build it they will come. So if we build prisons, especially for-profit prisons, they will be filled up because someone needs to fill those beds in order to make a profit.” Read more about Religious Leaders Don’t Want A For-Profit Prison In Minnesota

Sep 22, 2015
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Huffington Post

We Must End For-Profit Prisons

The United States is experiencing a major human tragedy. We have more people in jail than any other country on earth, including Communist China, an authoritarian country four times our size.  The U.S. has less than five percent of the world's population, yet we incarcerate about a quarter of its prisoners -- some 2.2 million people.

There are many ways that we must go forward to address this tragedy.  One of them is to end the existence of the private for-profit prison industry which now makes millions from the incarceration of Americans.  These private prisons interfere with the administration of justice. And they're driving inmate populations skyward by corrupting the political process.

No one, in my view, should be allowed to profit from putting more people behind bars -- whether they're inmates in jail or immigrants held in detention centers. In fact, I believe that private prisons shouldn't be allowed to exist at all, which is why I've introduced legislation to eliminate them.

Here's why:

...

For-profit prisons are influencing prison policy ...

... and immigration policy.

A report from the Council on Hemispheric Affairs outlines some of the ways in which private prison corporations have tried to influence immigration policy and increase incarceration rates, apparently with great success.

Grassroots Leadership found that, "contrary to private prison corporation claims that they do not lobby on issues related to immigration policy, between 2008 and 2014, CCA spent $10,560,000 in quarters where they lobbied on issues related to immigrant detention and immigration reform." Read more about We Must End For-Profit Prisons

Aug 4, 2015
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ThinkProgress

The Financial Collapse Of The Private Immigrant Detention Industry

Construction on private prison-operated facilities has grown nationwide, especially in Texas. At 39 percent, Texas has the highest concentration of privately run detention beds in the country, according to the immigrant advocacy group Grassroots Leadership.

The two largest private prison companies, Corrections Corporation of America and the GEO Group, operate 72 percent of the private immigrant detention industry. Both companies reported surging profits in their quarterly earnings. That’s in part because many contracts include occupancy requirements mandating that state or local governments must keep facilities anywhere between 80 and 100 percent full. On top of that, Congress has a so-called bed mandate, requiring that the Department of Homeland Security make available at least 34,000 beds every night for immigrant detention. That figure has been adjusted to around 31,000 for the 2015 fiscal year. Read more about The Financial Collapse Of The Private Immigrant Detention Industry

Jul 28, 2015
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San Diego Free Press

Whistleblower Exposes Torture and Child Abuse at For-Profit Prison

"A social worker formerly employed at a for-profit family immigrant detention center in Texas blew the whistle this week on the prison’s inhumane conditions—from solitary confinement to medical neglect—that she said amount to child abuse and torture.

The Karnes County Residential Center is operated by GEO Group—the second largest private prison company in the country that has faced numerous accusations of atrocities and civil rights violations. It is also the site of recent—and repeated—hunger strikes led by mothers incarcerated with their children, in protest of their conditions, detentions, and in many cases, their looming deportations.
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Cristina Parker of Grassroots Leadership, a Texas-based organization that opposes prison profiteering, toldCommon Dreams that there are signs that the tide may be finally turning against these 'wrong, immoral, and traumatizing' prisons." Read more about Whistleblower Exposes Torture and Child Abuse at For-Profit Prison

Jul 9, 2015
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The Dallas Observer

Texas Immigrant Prison Accidentally Gave a Bunch of Kids an Adult-Strength Vaccine

"...The vaccine overdose was exposed on July 4 by immigration attorneys, who, along with prisoner advocates, are using the instance to make the case that family detention camps are inhumane and should be shut down. The South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley is operated by the Corrections Corporation of America, one of two corporations that has profited tremendously from the influx of illegal immigrants crossing the border.

The Dilley center, which now has 2,400 beds, is the largest of its kind in the United States. A report by the prison advocacy group Grassroots Leadership earlier this year found that the CCA has in particular benefited from the "bed quota," the mandate passed by lawmakers that says the Department of Homeland Security must  "maintain a level of not less than 33,400 detention beds."

Crystal Williams, executive director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, describes a traumatic atmosphere at the South Texas camp: "..children have been forced to sleep with the lights on, are subject to intrusive checks regularly throughout the night, and have been dragged from their beds at 4 a.m. to be given shots while their mothers must stand helplessly by without being told what is going on or being allowed a say in the matter."

Grassroots Leadership consulted with a University of Texas medical student, who said that, while most of the kids should be fine, 'the symptoms that Barbara [Hines] saw are consistent with vaccine overdose ... This is a red flag warning of deeper problems with medical care in detention centers, and reminds us why private prison corporations should not be entrusted with the care of children.'" Read more about Texas Immigrant Prison Accidentally Gave a Bunch of Kids an Adult-Strength Vaccine

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