Jul 14, 2015

"On the Draft": How Prisoners Suffer During and After Prison Transfers

Out-of-state prison transfers are also a key factor enabling the growth of the private prison industry, according to Grassroots Leadership, an organization based in Austin, Texas, that opposes profit from human incarceration. In November 2013, Grassroots Leadership's criminal justice organizer, Holly Kirby, compiled a report called Locked Up and Shipped Away, which documented the extent to which prisoners from state prisons were being sent to out-of-state private prisons.

Kirby found a total of four states, Vermont, Idaho, Hawai'i and California, that contracted with out-of-state private prisons to receive a portion of the population from their overflowing facilities, adding up to over 10,500 prisoners at the time of writing. Overall, she found that there are few laws governing interstate transfers and little oversight over the extent of the practice. ...

In a conversation with Truthout, Kirby used Vermont as an example of the ways transfers enable the growth of private prisons while simultaneously allowing states to put off fixing the issues that lead to over-incarceration.

"It's a tiny state; it's known as a progressive state, but for 20 years they've been sending prisoners out of state," she told me. "If they couldn't send prisoners out of state, they'd be forced to make real reforms, but because private prisons offer this option, it really allows the states to delay doing anything."


Jun 8, 2015

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.


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. [node:read-more:link]

A Tale of Two States: Washington and Vermont sign contracts to ship prisoners to Michigan

Two weeks ago we were disappointed to learn that both Washington state and Vermont awarded contracts to private prison corporation, GEO Group, to house overflow prisoners at the long-shuttered North Lake Correctional Facility in Baldwin, MI.

This is concerning not only because of GEO’s particularly egregious history at the Baldwin private prison, but also because shipping prisoners out-of-state for profit is regressive and harmful criminal justice policy.

It allows state leaders to ignore root causes of prison overcrowding and delay desperately needed sustainable reform. Shipping prisoners far away severs critical ties to family and community, compounding the already devastating effects of isolation felt by people who experience incarceration. It places enormous emotional and financial burdens on the families and loved ones of those shipped away. All the while, private prison corporations rake in profits for every prison bed they can fill. 

Advocates Oppose New Private Prison Contract to House Vermonters Out-of-State

(Burlington, VT) — The Vermont Department of Corrections announced today the signing of a new contract with private, for-profit prison corporation, the GEO Group, to house Vermont prisoners at the North Lake Correctional Facility in Baldwin, MI. Vermont prisoners currently housed in Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) prisons in KY and AZ will be transferred to the Baldwin facility this summer. [node:read-more:link]

May 15, 2015
Seven Days

Vermont Might Send Its Out-of-State Prisoners to Michigan

GEO representatives told shareholders during a recent conference call that the company was finalizing a contract with Vermont, according to Grassroots Leadership, a national watchdog that opposes the private prison industry. "We are very concerned that the people who are currently housed out-of-state in Kentucky will be transferred to Baldwin," Kymberlie Quong Charles, Grassroots Leadership's criminal justice programs director, said in an interview. [node:read-more:link]

Dec 10, 2014
The Commons Online

Prison-reform activists seek return of inmates Vermont, national grassroots organizations partner to bring prisoners closer to home

Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform and Grassroots Leadership, a national nonprofit based in Austin, Texas, is partnering on “Locked Up & Shipped Away,” a campaign that aims to halt the state’s practice of shipping prisoners out of state.

Grassroots Leadership released its report “Locked Up & Shipped Away: Paying the Price for Vermont’s Response to Prison Overcrowding,” on Dec. 3 at a press conference at the Marlboro College Graduate Center. [node:read-more:link]

Dec 3, 2014
Burlington Free Press

Report: Out-of-state inmates risk re-offense

Grassroots Leadership, a social justice group, released a report at the Statehouse press conference on the costs and consequences of sending inmates to private prisons in other states in response to prison overcrowding.

The report— "Locked Up & Shipped Away: Paying the Price for Vermont's Response to Prison Overcrowding" — says an over-reliance on out-of-state private prisons cuts ties between prisoners and families, which are critical to keeping inmates from reoffending. It also says shipping inmates out-of-state is costly to families, emotionally and financially. A little less than 500 Vermont inmates are currently incarcerated out of state, mostly in Kentucky. [node:read-more:link]


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