Grassroots Leadership In The News

Sep 14, 2012

Advocates Want Halt to Expansion Of Private Prisons For Non-Citizens

“These policies have led to the point where about half of federal prisoners are now Latino,” said Bob Libal, director of Grassroots Leadership, who authored “Operation Streamline: Costs and Consequences,” a report released on Wednesday. [...]
Since Streamline began in 2005, the federal government has spent $5.5 billion incarcerating undocumented immigrants, according to the Grassroots Leadership report. That money is funneled into private profits. [node:read-more:link]

Sep 13, 2012
The Texas Tribune (also ran in the Tuscon Sentinel and Utne)

Advocacy Groups Target Private Prisons for Immigrants

The coalition, which includes Justice Strategies, the ACLU of Texas, Grassroots Leadership and the Sentencing Project, argued that “petty immigration violations” are sending more Latinos to prisons where they face “poor management, lack of medical care, prolonged lockdown and human rights violations.”

(also ran in the Tuscon Sentinel and Utne) [node:read-more:link]

Sep 12, 2012
Fort Worth Weekly

Low-Bidding Mental Illness: The company that brought us deadly private prisons wants to run Kerrville State Hospital.

Bob Libal, a member of a group called Grassroots Leadership, said in a press release, “I think that the GEO Care record in Florida, where the three deaths occurred, and in Montgomery County, where GEO Care is currently being fined by DSHS for lack of quality patient care, has already shown itself to be similar to what we’ve seen in the GEO correctional facilities.”
Grassroots Leadership is a nonprofit fighting to end the for-profit prison industry and is part of the coalition opposing GEO’s Kerrville bid. The coalition includes groups from the Texas ACLU to a board of the United Methodist Church.  Their position is that hiring GEO to run that facility, while being proposed as a cost-saving move, could carry a high cost, not only in patient suffering but also in taxpayer dollars, in the long run. [node:read-more:link]

Sep 6, 2012

Private Prison Company’s New Profit Source: Mental Health

“When private, for-profit companies bid on contracts to privatize public facilities like Kerrville State Hospital, they often promise to save the tax-payer money, which is enticing to a state like Texas that continues to face a serious budget crisis,” said Kymberlie Quong Charles of Grassroots Leadership. “But that promise is in conflict with their first priority of making a profit. They may be able to cut their operating budget, but at the cost of peoples’ jobs and patients’ safety.” [node:read-more:link]

Aug 10, 2012
The Austin American Statesman

Advocacy groups blast privatization plan for state psych hospital

"The Geo Group has a long and troubled history in Texas," said Bob Libal, whose organization, Grassroots Leadership, signed the letter along with groups including the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, the Center for Public Policy Priorities, Disability Rights Texas, Texas NAACP, the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition and the United Methodist Church.

(originally ran in the Texas Tribune) [node:read-more:link]