Research and Publications

Blogs and Websites

Grassroots Leadership's blog hosts commentary by staff on the latest news.

Defund Austin Police is a collaborative website created in order to provide resources to community members learning about defunding policing efforts in Austin and across the country.

Operation Streamline Watch chronicled the impacts, news, and developments of Operation Streamline. Operation Streamline is a federal policy that mandates criminal prosecution of border-crossers in certain areas for what has historically been a civil immigration offense.  Streamline has sentenced tens of thousands of immigrants to prison, greatly expanded the federal detention system, and funneled more than $1 billion to the private prison industry.

Texas Prison Bid'ness was a Justice Strategies and Grassroots Leadership project created to provide information to media, advocates and policy-makers on the for-profit prison industry in Texas. The blog tracks news and developments related the growing for-profit prison system in Texas, a state with more private prisons, jails, and detention centers than any other.  Grassroots Leadership board member Nicole Porter and former Executive Director Bob Libal contributed to the blog.

Research Reports

Cruelty and Corruption: Contracting to Lock Up Immigrant Women for Profit at the Hutto Detention Center, co-published with the Texas Law Immigration Clinic, March 2021 Verson en español aqui

Austin's Big Secret: How Big Tech and Surveillance Are Increasing Policing, Jacinta Gonzalez, Claudia Muñoz, and Julie Mao, August 2020

Ending the War on Drugs in Travis County, Texas: How Low-Level Drug Possession Arrests are Harmful and Ineffective, co-published with Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, Texas Harm Reduction Alliance, and University of Texas School of Law Civil Rights Clinic, February 2020

Care Not Cages: Stop Racist Policing and Jailing in Harris County, Chris Harris, Holly Kirby, and Dianna Williams, October 2019

Homes Not Handcuffs: How Austin Criminalizes Homelessness, Norma A. Herrera, October 2018

Travis County Jail in 2015: Data points to racism and longer confinement of African Americans, Chris Harris, July 2017

Beyond Alternatives to Incarceration and Confinement, Cate Graziani, Liat Ben-Moshe, & Haile Eshe Cole, April 2017

Indefensible: A Decade of Mass Incarceration of Migrants Prosecuted for Crossing the Border; Judith A. Greene, Bethany Carson, and Andrea Black, July 2016

InCorrect Care: A Prison Profiteer Turns Care into Confinement, Cate Graziani and Eshe Cole, March 2016.

Locked Up and Shipped Away: Winter 2016 Update, Holly Kirby, January 2016

Payoff: How Congress Ensures Private Prison Profit with an Immigrant Detention Quota, Bethany Carson and Eleana Diaz, April 2015.

Locked Up & Shipped Away: Paying the Price for Vermont's Response to Prison Overcrowding, Holly Kirby, December 3, 2014.

The Treatment Industrial Complex: How For-Profit Prison Corporations are Undermining Efforts to Treat and Rehabilitate Prisoners for Corporate Gain, Co-Published with Caroline Issacs (American Friends Service Committee) and Southern Center for Human Rights, November 2014.

Video Visitation: How Private Companies Push for Visits by Video and Families Pay the Price, Co-Published with Jorge Antonio Renaud (Texas Criminal Justice Coalition), October 2014.

For-Profit Family Detention: Meet the Private Prison Companies Making Millions by Locking Up Refugee Families, Co-published with Justice Strategies, October 2014.

Shadow Report of Grassroots Leadership and Justice Strategies to The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination Regarding Criminal Prosecutions of Migrants for Immigration Offenses and Substandard Privately-Operated Segregated Prisons, Co-published with Justice Strategies, July 2014.

Locked Up and Shipped Away: Interstate Prisoner Transfer and the Private Prison Industry, Holly Kirby, November 20, 2013.

The Dirty Thirty: Nothing to Celebrate About 30 Years of Corrections Corporation of America, Holly Kirby, Bob Libal, Piper Madison, Julia Morris, Kymberlie Quong Charles, June 2013.

Dawson State Jail: The Case for Closure, Co-Published with Nicole Porter (The Sentencing Project), January 2012.

Operation Streamline: Costs and Consequences, Alistair Graham Robertson, Rachel Beaty, Jane Atkinson, Bob Libal, September 2012.

Operation Streamline: Drowning Justice and Draining Dollars along the Rio Grande, Tara Buentello, Sarah V. Carswell, Nicholas Hudson, Bob Libal, July 2010.

Considering a Private Jail, Prison or Detention Center? A Resource Packet for Community Members and Public Officials Grassroots Leadership’s updated Resource Packet analyzes the economic impact of private prisons on Texas communities, offers alternatives to prison expansion, and compares the safety and conditions at private and government-run prisons. Second Edition, September 2009

Lax Oversite Plagues Privates Prison in Texas, "Watch Your Assets" Co-published with Texans for Public Justice, February 6, 2008.

GROUND ZERO: The Laredo Superjail and the No Action Alternative, Nicholas Hudson, July 2006.

Progress or Profit? Positive Alternatives to Privatization in Shelby County, TN - Proposes a set of solutions that will help the county cut spending and reduce its jail population while continuing to protect public safety. By Dana Kaplan, Center for Constitutional Rights, and Bob Libal, Grassroots Leadership. Co-published with Coalition Against Private Prisons (CAPP), 2006.

Protecting the Future: Moderating West Virginia's Budget Crisis, Co-published with the West Virginia Council of Churches and the Appalachian Institute at Wheeling Jesuit University, 2005.

Not Here, Not Anywhere: The Private Prison Problem (DVD). Narrated by Danny Glover, produced by Tonyia Rawles and Natalie Bullock Brown, 2005.

Prescription for Disaster: Commercializing Prison Health Care in South Carolina, Marguerite G. Rosenthal, Ph.D. A Grassroots Leadership South Carolina Fair Share Special Report, 2004

Prescription for Recovery: Keeping South Carolina‘s Prison Health Care Public and Making It Better, Marguerite G. Rosenthal, Ph.D. A Grassroots Leadership South Carolina Fair Share Special Report, 2004

Correction Corporation of America: A Critical Look at its First Twenty Years. By Philip Mattera and Mafruza Khan, Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First, and Stephen Nathan, Prison Privatisation Report International. December 2003.

Borrowing Against the Future: The Impact of Prison Expansion on Arizona Families, Schools and Communities. By Kevin Pranis. Co-published with the Arizona Advocacy Network, April 2003.

Education v. Incarceration: A Mississippi Case Study
Exposes some key issues about the state and its preferential treatment of the for-profit private prison industry. May 20, 2002.

Faith Community Statements

Locking Up Family Values: The Detention of Immigrant Families, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, February 2007. (pdf)

Resolution Calling for the Abolition of For-Profit Private Prisons, Presbyterian Church (USA), 2003. (pdf)