CEC

Oct 14, 2015
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Houston Chronicle

Inmate still on lam after escape from Liberty County Jail

News of the escape raised concerns from criminal justice advocates and civil rights advocates.

The incident "seems to encapsulate all of problems of turning a jail over to a for-profit prison corporation," said Bob Libal, Executive Director Grassroots Leadership, an Austin-based civil-rights organization and an outspoken opponent of the private prison industry. "Including incentivizing high rates of incarceration, staffing at a very low level to mazimize profits, which lead to operational outcomes like you've seen - failed inspections and escapes. These things are all preventable, but symptomatic of for-profit prison corporations operating jails as for-profit and not for rehabilitation or public safety, frankly." Read more about Inmate still on lam after escape from Liberty County Jail

Hump Day Hall of Shame | Texas Prison Bid'ness' Top 5 Worst Lobbyists

Welcome to The Hump Day Hall of Shame:  Every Wednesday we highlight the private prison industry’s influence on public policy through campaign contributions, lobbying, and the revolving door of public and private corrections.

With the Texas legislative session underway, the  Texas Prison Bid’ness blog, a joint project of Grassroots Leadership and Justice Strategies, is shining a spotlight on five of the worst private prison lobbyists in our state.  As they've covered before, GEO Group, CCA, CEC, and MTC pay hundreds of thousands of dollars every year for lobbying services and campaign contributions for state and federal legislators.  Here are five men and women who profit the most from peddling prisons, jails, and detention centers in Texas:

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Close Down Polk: Expose & Close Vigil on December 8th

Activists marching outside the Polk detention center
As part of the national Expose & Close campaign, Grassroots Leadership, Texans United for Families, and Houston Unidos led a vigil this Saturday outside of the IAH (Polk) County Secure Adult Detention Center. Over a hundred community members from a diverse coalition of human rights group gathered to call for the closure of the detention center, highlight the continued human rights abuses, and denounce profiteering from the detention of immigrants in the US.  Activists from Austin had previously toured the facility and found atrocious conditions – detained men eat, sleep, and use the bathroom all in one room, spend up to twenty three hours in their crowded cells, and have little access to family or legal aid on the outside.  Sam Vong, one of the authors of a report on the facility, "witnessed horrible conditions" and says that "ICE must shut down this facility as a first step towards reducing its detained population."

Read more about Close Down Polk: Expose & Close Vigil on December 8th

Haunted Hump Day Hall of Shame | Community Education Centers

Welcome to The Hump Day Hall of Shame: Every Wednesday we highlight the private prison industry’s influence on public policy through campaign contributions, lobbying, and the revolving door of public and private corrections.

Community Education Centers (CEC) is a pretty creepy for-profit private prison corporation.  They recently made New York Times headlines for their mismanagement of New Jersey half-way houses and their ties to Governor Chris Christie, and have a well-documented history across the United States for egregious problems that have arisen in facilities that they run.

Beyond what actually happens in these facilities, it’s pretty creepy understanding the framework that private, for-proft prison companies employ in their business practices.  For CEC and the private for-profit prison business, incarcerated people are dollars signs before they are human beings.  And, reducing the number of people in prison is bad for their business. Read more about Haunted Hump Day Hall of Shame | Community Education Centers

Small New England State Finds Big State and National Support in Opposing Private Prison Proposal

For the past several months we’ve kept you updated about the movement by New Hampshire’s legislature to wholly privatize the state’s prison system.  No other state has privatized its entire prison system, and we are very concerned about the precedent that would be set if the state awards a contract to one of four bidders on its Request for Proposal.  We raised particular concern when we learned that lead manager of the private firm that New Hampshire hired to assist in analyzing the RFP’s is George Vose, a former private corrections administrator who currently sits on the board of Community Education Centers, a private prison company that operates halfway houses and recently has been highlighted for mismanagement of its New Jersey facilities.

Read more about Small New England State Finds Big State and National Support in Opposing Private Prison Proposal

Hump Day Hall of Shame: As Arizona faces firestorm of criticism over private prison contract, ADC moves to privatize re-entry

Co-Authored by Caroline Isaacs, director of the AFSC's Arizona Program in Tucson 

You may have seen a lot of press recently about the announcement that Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) will make this Friday, awarding a contract for construction and management of up to 2,000 prison beds to one of five private, for-profit prison corporations.

Arizona advocates have engaged the support of state and national organizations to oppose Arizona’s planned expansion of its for-profit prison beds.  This week Grassroots Leadership added its name to a letter addressed to Arizona governor Jan Brewer, along with over 50 other organizations, faith leaders, and elected officials in an effort to block the award of a new private prison contract.

Read more about Hump Day Hall of Shame: As Arizona faces firestorm of criticism over private prison contract, ADC moves to privatize re-entry

Humpday Hall of Shame: NJ Governor Chris Christie & Community Education Centers

Welcome to The Hump Day Hall of Shame:  Every Wednesday we highlight the private prison industry’s influence on public policy through campaign contributions, lobbying, and the revolving door of public and private corrections.

For today's Humpday Hall of Shame we induct both New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and private prison corporation Community Education Centers (CEC). CEC was subject to a three-part expose in the New York Times this week on its half-way houses in New Jersey.

The reports detail a stunningly flawed half-way house system with little-to-no security, prisoners subject to sexual assaults, theft, and murder, and more than 5,000 prisoners who simply walked away from the facility.

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Humpday Hall of Shame: Federal Budget Gives Private Prison Corporations a Merry Christmas

Welcome to the Humpday Hall of Shame – every Wednesday we’ll highlight the private prison industry’s influence on public policy through campaign contributions, lobbying, and the revolving door of public and private corrections.

This week's inductee is the United States Congress.  Even as lawmakers have been unable to extend a payroll tax break for working Americans and unemployment insurance for those out of work, they have been able to provide a benefit for one group this holiday season - private prison corporations that benefit from the detention of immigrants.

Last Saturday, December 17th, Congress agreed on funding for the Department of Homeland Security for fiscal year 2012.  While the measure actually reduces overall spending by the department by $111 million, it increases Immigration and Customs Enforcement's by more than $50 million from Fiscal Year 2011.  The increase includes an allocation for 34,000 daily immigration detention beds, up from 33,400 last year.  After the jump, see how the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services puts it in a recent press release.

Read more about Humpday Hall of Shame: Federal Budget Gives Private Prison Corporations a Merry Christmas

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