(AUSTIN, Texas) — Today, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it will reverse course on an August announcement to phase out the use of private prisons in the federal prison system. The announcement directs the Bureau of Prisons to return to its previous policy and to continue using for-profit private prisons. [node:read-more:link]
Bob Libal, Grassroots Leadership executive director, discusses the U.S. government halting a decade-long experiment to hire private companies to help manage the soaring prison population. He speaks with Bloomberg's Erik Schatzker and Joe Weisenthal on "Bloomberg Markets." [node:read-more:link]
The DOJ’s decision will impact 13 federal prisons run by private companies, or just over 22,000 incarcerated people. These people will be ostensibly shuffled to publicly-operated prisons, which is still a big problem for those who argue that mass incarceration itself is a profound injustice.
As the anti-prison-profiteering organization Grassroots Leadership explains, “Most privately-operated prisons within the BOP are Criminal Alien Requirement (CAR) prisons. CAR prisons hold noncitizens, many of whom have been criminally prosecuted for crossing the border.” Bethany Carson, researcher and organizer for the group, said in a press statement, “We hope that this decision will be a stepping stone for the DOJ to end the use of segregated prisons for non-citizens and de-prioritize improper entry and re-entry prosecutions.” [node:read-more:link]
The Obama Administration announced last week that the federal Bureau of Prisons will end its reliance on privately-run, for-profit prisons. The facilities, which the Justice Department calls unsafe and expensive, currently house about 22,000 inmates, almost all of whom are not U.S. citizens. While the move will do little to reduce the nation’s overall prison population — now numbering more than 2.2 million — supporters say it’s a crucial step in bringing about broader criminal justice reforms. We discuss the details of the policy change and the prevalence of private prisons across the United States. [node:read-more:link]
(AUSTIN, Texas) — Last Friday night a group of immigrants incarcerated at the Eden Detention Center in Concho County, Texas refused to leave the recreation yard and return to their housing units, reportedly in protest of inhumane treatment at the facility. A CCA spokesperson confirmed the peaceful demonstration just after midnight. “A group of inmates at the Eden Detention Center is refusing to leave the recreation yard and return to their housing units. Throughout this incident, they have been passive. [node:read-more:link]
People who enter or re-enter U.S. borders without legal authorization do so mostly to better their families’ economic circumstances. Escaping misery should not be a crime.
But under a program launched 10 years ago, it has been effectively criminalized. The entirely predictable result has been a clogging of courts, an overpacking of federal jails, a wasteful expense estimated at $7 billion since 2005 and an unjust severing of families that imposes even more misery as breadwinners are imprisoned — for wanting to earn their bread.
This is laid out in a report by Grassroots Leadership and Justice Strategies. A recent Express-News article by Aaron Nelsen explained its findings. Nearly three-quarters of a million people have been prosecuted since 2005 in federal courts, 412,240 for improper entry (a misdemeanor) and 317,916 for re-entry (a felony). [node:read-more:link]
(AUSTIN, Texas) — An exposé published today exposes that the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) was aware of grave health deficiencies in CAR facilities for years, but failed to force compliance. [node:read-more:link]
Today marks the 10 years since Operation Streamline took effect. The policy significantly increased the caseloads in criminal courts along the southern U.S. border by criminalizing what used to be a civil offense: illegal re-entry into the United States. Operation Streamline started as a pilot program in the Del Rio sector of the Texas border, but later expanded to Yuma, Arizona; Laredo, Texas and eventually to all southern border sectors except those in California. To take a look at what the net effects of the policy have been a decade later, FSRN’s Shannon Young spoke with Bethany Carson, immigration policy researcher and organizer at Grassroots Leadership in Austin, Texas. [node:read-more:link]
WHAT: March & street theater action
WHO: Community members and U.S. Human Rights Conference participants
WHEN: Friday December 11, 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
WHERE: March from Hilton on E. 4th to Federal Courthouse Plaza (501 5th St.) [node:read-more:link]