(AUSTIN, TEXAS) — As a follow-up to the 2013 report, Locked Up and Shipped Away: Interstate Prisoner Transfers and the Private Prison Industry, Grassroots Leadership released a new report today providing an updated look at states’ practice of shipping incarcerated people en masse to out-of-state private, for-profit prisons. [node:read-more:link]
Locked Up and #shippedaway
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]
Advocates say the state’s decision to enter into the new private prison contract is “highly disappointing.” According to a 2014 study performed by Texas-based Grassroots Leadership, Vermont is one of four states to house some inmates out of state at privately run jails. [node:read-more:link]
Last Thursday the Michigan House approved legislation that would help private prison company, the GEO Group, get one of their shuttered prisons up and running again.
House Bill 4467, if passed, would allow GEO Group to house Level V high-security prisoners at the now-empty North Lake Correctional Facility in Baldwin, MI. Although the prison has been empty since 2011, Michigan law allows for the GEO prison to house prisoners, including those from other states, but only prisoners requiring Level IV security and below.[node:read-more:link]
According to a report released last fall by the prison reform group Grassroots Leadership, at least 10,500 state prisoners were held last year outside the state where they were convicted. Hawaii and Vermont each send inmates more than 2,000 miles to Arizona, where they’re housed in private prisons run byCorrections Corp. of America (CXW). [node:read-more:link]