Private Prisons

Jul 30, 2014
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International Business Times

Migrant Family Detentions On The Rise, And Private Companies Stand To Profit

... Bob Libal, executive director of Grassroots Leadership, an advocacy organization that has campaigned against family detention and the for-profit prison industry, said the government would likely be eager to keep contracting family detention centers to private companies.

“It’s an easy solution for the government because there are private prison corporations that have excess capacity, particularly today, with declining state prison populations,” he said. “And it’s about influence -- private prison corporations are enormously powerful, particularly in immigration.” Libal noted that Julie Myers Wood, former head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, is a member of GEO Group’s board of directors, and that David Venturella, former head of the "Secure Communities" enforcement program, is now a GEO Group senior vice president ....  Read more about Migrant Family Detentions On The Rise, And Private Companies Stand To Profit

Jul 23, 2014
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Idaho Statesman

Letter: Private prisons

On July 1, the Idaho Department of Corrections officially took back control of the Idaho Correctional Center (ICC) after 14 years of operation under the private prison company Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). As the Lewiston Tribune put it in their opinion piece in the Idaho Statesman July 7, "... after a long, dark chapter, Idaho has cast aside a profit motive more suited to making widgets or selling hamburgers than to warehousing human beings."

Kicking CCA and the profit-motive in imprisonment out of the ICC is absolutely a step in the right direction. However, we cannot forget Idaho is not completely rid of CCA quite yet. More than 200 Idaho prisoners remain locked up in a for-profit CCA prison in Burlington, Colo. Prisoners, their families and loved ones, and Idaho taxpayers continue to pay the price for the state's failure to prioritize real solutions to prison overcrowding.

Shipping prisoners across state lines to for-profit prisons is not a solution. It is a costly Band-Aid that is ripping families apart and undermining individuals' chances of rehabilitation. It's unsustainable. It's inhumane. It needs to end now.

Holly Kirby, organizer, Grassroots Leadership

Austin, Texas


Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2014/07/23/3291710/letter-private-prisons.html?sp=/99/106/#storylink=cpy

 

 


Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2014/07/23/3291710/letter-private-prisons.html?sp=/99/106/#storylink=cpy

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Idaho kicks Corrections Corporation of America out, but work remains to bring prisoners home

On July 1, 2014, the Idaho Department of Corrections officially took back control of the Idaho Correctional Center (ICC) after 14 years of operation under the private, for-profit prison company Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). As the Lewiston Tribune put it in their opinion piece in the Idaho Statesman today, “... after a long, dark chapter, Idaho has cast aside a profit motive more suited to making widgets or selling hamburgers than to warehousing human beings.” 

Kicking CCA and the profit-motive in imprisonment out of the ICC is absolutely a step in the right direction. However, we cannot forget Idaho is not completely rid of CCA quite yet. More than 200 Idaho prisoners remain locked up in a for-profit CCA prison in Burlington, Colorado. Prisoners, their families and loved ones, and Idaho taxpayers continue to pay the price for the state’s failure to prioritize real solutions to prison overcrowding.

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Humpday Hall of Shame: Private Prison Companies Buying “Impartial” Accreditation Agency … Again

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised at this point, but every time a private prison company pops up as a top sponsor of the largest “impartial” accrediting association in the world, we are. This time not one but eight private prison and private correctional healthcare companies, each with a history of human rights violations, are the top sponsors of the American Correctional Association’s 144th Congress of Corrections conference.

Among them are Corrections Corporation of America, GEO Group, Management and Training Corporation, Corizon, Wexford Health, MHM Correctional Services, Centurion, and Naphcare.

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Humpday Hall of Shame: Public and private detention facilities using cheap detainee labor

This week’s Humpday Hall of Shame spotlight turns to the practice of using immigrant detainees for cheap — and sometimes free — labor in public and private immigrant detention facilities.

The practice was recently highlighted in a New York Times article where author, Ian Urbina,  writes:

As the federal government cracks down on immigrants in the country illegally and forbids businesses to hire them, it is relying on tens of thousands of those immigrants each year to provide essential labor — usually for $1 a day or less — at the detention centers where they are held when caught by the authorities.

While the government insists on implementing an arbitrary quota on the number of people to force into detention centers, it has difficulty sustaining its own operations without this source of forced labor. The practice of strong-arming these men and women into the upkeep of the very institutions that deprive them of their basic liberties underlines the larger injustice of mass immigrant detention.

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Humpday Hall of Shame: GEO Rewarded for being a "Fit Company" while detainees starve in hunger strikes

Congratulations, GEO! You've been given another honorable mention in our Humpday Hall of Shame! 

According to the Digital Journal, Healthyroads Incorporated awarded the Fit Company Award to the GEO Group because of their "GEO-fit-for-life" program, run through... you guessed it... Healthyroads Incorporated

Stephen V. Fuller, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at GEO, spoke favorably of the fitness program: "Thanks to our wellness program, employees are getting more exercise and eating better...More importantly, though, they're enjoying themselves and building camaraderie in the process, which is what will lead to better relationships and lifelong healthy lifestyle changes."

Ironically enough, GEO has a horrific track record of abuse, neglect and retaliation of people locked up in their for-profit private prisons and detention centers.

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ACLU of TN delivers petition to Gov. — Kick CCA out of TN!

Today, the nation’s first and largest for-profit private prison company, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), is holding its annual shareholders’ meeting in Nashville, TN. The Nashville based, multi-billion dollar corporation and its shareholders profit handsomely from the imprisonment of human beings. 

This time last year, while CCA was celebrating its 30 year anniversary at their shareholders’ meeting, Grassroots Leadership and our partners marched outside and smashed pinatas in protest. We let them know there is nothing to celebrate about 30 years of profiting from pain. Check out more photos of us crashing CCA's party last year HERE.

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Part 2 of KSAT-San Antonio exposé follows the private prison money trail

On Friday, KSAT – San Antonio ran Corportations profit from immigration system, part two of reporter Steve Spriester’s Defender’s Investigation into the shady practices of private prison corporations. Spriester’s exposé – which featured Grassroots Leadership Executive Director Bob Libal – revealed the way in which private prison corporations strategically pour money into campaign contribution and lobbying efforts that will produce benefits for their bottom line by ensuring a large and steady flow of detainees.

As Spreister put it, “A stalemate on immigration reform in this country is very good for their business.”

Added Libal, "They're banking on there being a steady and increasing number of immigrants behind bars."

 

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Humpday Hall of Shame: TX Rep. John Culberson in the pocket of private prisons

The Commerce, Justice and Science Subcommittee of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee held a budget hearing April 10, where they discussed ways to reduce the rising costs of our mass incarceration system. Charles E. Samuels, Jr., Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, testified. Per the usual, privatization was offered as a viable option.

The hearing began with a discussion of the prison industry program, and many members of the subcommittee lamented that the program had been reduced in recent years to prevent competition with the private sector. Supporters of those programs, including Chairman Frank Wolf (VA) and Rep. John Culberson (TX), were particularly frustrated that fewer prisoners in federal prisons are manufacturing goods when, “we are importing products from slave labor camps in communist China.” Unfortunately, that was only the beginning.

Rep. Culberson wasted no time in advocating for not only an expansion of private prison industries, but also the use of private prison contractors. He began by highlighting the “great success in Texas using private contractors to come and build and operate private facilities.” Without any data to support his claims, he went on the say that private facilities in Texas, “operate at a significant savings to taxpayers and provide, frankly, better facilities, better food and better healthcare.” Where he got this information remains unclear. 

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Koch Institute mass incarceration panelists call out private prisons

On April 16, 2014 the Charles Koch Institute and Mediaite hosted Rule of Law: How the Criminal Justice System Impacts Well-Being, a panel discussion in Austin, TX, which sought to foster discussion focused on the impacts of mass incarceration on our society. For an event branded by Koch — the family name notorious for their mutli-billion dollar conglomerate Koch Industries, Inc. and pro-free market and privatization ideology — the discussion around the for-profit, private prison industry was an interesting one.  

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