detention bed quota

May 10, 2016
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ThinkProgress

Private Prison CEOs ‘Pleased’ Their Earnings Soared From Keeping Immigrant Kids In Detention

During separate conference calls to talk about earnings reports, two of the country’s largest for-profit private prisons indicated that they saw their profits soar from holding immigrant mothers and children in detention centers across the country.

Revenues increased during the first quarter of 2016 for both the Corrections Corp. of America and GEO Group, executives told shareholders on conference calls.

CCA saw a revenue of $447.4 million, a 5 percent increase from last year’s first quarter. The company’s press release attributed much of that increase to a federal contract with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.

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“It’s sickening to hear CCA and GEO brag about their profitable quarter to shareholders,” Cristina Parker, immigration programs director at Grassroots Leadership, said in a press release. “That money is made off the suffering of mothers and children who came to the U.S. for refuge.” Read more about Private Prison CEOs ‘Pleased’ Their Earnings Soared From Keeping Immigrant Kids In Detention

Mar 10, 2016
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ThinkProgress

A Shocking Glimpse Inside America’s Privatized Detention Facilities For Immigrants

It’s not easy to find out what happens inside the walls of ICE’s numerous detention centers. Critics complain of a persistent culture of secrecy within the agency, and details about the circumstances of hunger strikes can be sparse even on the occasion that ICE will acknowledge one. Rarely will the agency grant more than a yes or no confirmation.

But through a FOIA request to ICE, ThinkProgress obtained a document that provides some clarity: CCA’s emergency food strike plan. The disciplinary nature of the company’s policy (embedded below) stood out to Carl Takei, a staff attorney at the ACLU’s National Prison Project who specializes in immigration detention.

“The thrust of the policy is to squelch the protest rather to address any medical or health concerns,” Takei told ThinkProgress after reviewing its content. “It’s very different from ICE’s hunger strike policy, because ICE’s hunger strike policy is primarily about medical procedures and medical concerns. This policy is about security and control.“

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The policy also carved out punishments for food strikers, noting that participants would have their all of their commissary purchasing privileges suspended, and could have radio, visitation, and phone privileges removed if the center’s commander chose.

“I think it’s telling that it describes a food strike as a passive-aggressive form of protest,” Takei said. “I haven’t seen a detailed policy like this that lays out both the punitive attitude and the punitive procedures. Usually this is something that is done much more informally.”

But punishment for the October incident allegedly went beyond what was written into CCA’s policy. Grassroots Leadership claims ICE and/or CCA retaliated against strikers by placing them in solitary confinement and then sending them to other detention centers. In response to a FOIA request, ICE told ThinkProgress that Hutto does not use solitary confinement.

But Zelaya claims she was placed in isolation at the detention center and sent to a frigid room by herself. “When I participated in the hunger strike for my life and health I did it because I didn’t feel that they took good care of me… and for participating they punished me,” she said in a statement provided to ThinkProgress. “I was put in a room alone with so much cold, cold. I cried because my bones hurt from so much cold.”

Days later, she was transferred to a different facility, in Laredo, Texas. Read more about A Shocking Glimpse Inside America’s Privatized Detention Facilities For Immigrants

Apr 18, 2015
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AllGov

Private Prison Industry Spends Millions Lobbying Congress to Maintain Immigrant “Bed Mandate” Quotas

"The private prison industry spends millions to persuade Congress to keep in place a quota system that keeps as many as 34,000 immigrants locked up, many in for-profit detention centers.

A report from the Grassroots Leadership says private prison corporations that contract with theDepartment of Homeland Security (DHS) spent almost $17 million over six years to lobby Congress to maintain the volume of immigrants in detention centers. The largest private prison company,Corrections Corporation of America, spent $10.5 million on lobbying 'on issues related to immigrant detention and immigration reform,' according to the report." Read more about Private Prison Industry Spends Millions Lobbying Congress to Maintain Immigrant “Bed Mandate” Quotas

Apr 20, 2015
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Broward Palm Beach New Times

New Report Criticizes GEO Group for Making Big Bucks Off Immigrant Backs

"A scathing new report says the private prison industry is getting fat off profits from detaining undocumented immigrants in subpar conditions – and Boca Raton-based GEO Group is one of the main culprits.

In the report, titled Payoff: How Congress Ensures Private Prison Profit With an Immigration Detention Quota, Grassroots Leadership, a nonprofit opposed to mass incarceration, says GEO Group and Correction Corporation of America (CCA) has successfully lobbied an acquiescent Congress for laws that increase the number of immigrants in its detention centers, leading to sharp increases in profits." Read more about New Report Criticizes GEO Group for Making Big Bucks Off Immigrant Backs

Apr 28, 2015
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City Watch LA

Jailhouse Shock: U.S. Fattens Profits of Private Immigrant Prisons

According to a new report from Grassroots Leadership, the two largest private prison companies in the U.S. now run 70 percent of the ICE Detention System and are working hard to expand that share. 

The report, Payoff: How Congress Ensures Private Prison Profit with an Immigrant Detention Quota, written by Bethany Carson and Eleana Diaz, also debunks a major piece of misinformation from the industry. Officials from CCA and GEO Group often claim they don’t lobby on issues that affect populations, but the report shows how much both corporations have invested lobbying relevant committees in Congress on immigration and detention issues that pad their bottom line.  Read more about Jailhouse Shock: U.S. Fattens Profits of Private Immigrant Prisons

May 6, 2015
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US News and World Report

Clinton Criticizes Immigrant Detentions Under Obama

"Clinton on Tuesday also referenced the so-called detention bed quota, which has expanded the number of immigrant detention beds the government is required to maintain to 34,000. A recently released report by the group Grassroots Leadership revealed that members of the private prison industry, which operates over half the beds in detention facilities, have spent millions combined on immigration-related lobbying efforts as Congress has dealt with the quota issue.

'I'm not sure a lot of Americans know that a lot of the detention facilities for immigrants are run by private companies,' Clinton said. 'They have a built-in incentive to fill them up, that there is actually a legal requirement that so many beds be filled. So people go out and round up people in order to get paid on a per-bed basis. I mean that just makes no sense at all to me. That's not the way we should be running any detention facility.'" Read more about Clinton Criticizes Immigrant Detentions Under Obama

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