Prison Privatization

News Article The Crime Report September 13, 2012

Report Cites 'Problem-Plagued, Second-Class' Prisons for Border Crossers

Thirteen privately operated, federally funded prisons housing 23,000 alleged illegal immigrants represent an "extremely expensive and problem-plagued, second-class penal system," contends a report presented today at a briefing on Capitol Hill. The report by the New York City-based Justice Strategies contends that the facilities are unnecessary, existing mostly because of "harsh policies" by federal immigration officials "to prosecute border-crossers as criminals, rather than using the civil enforcement provisions already available under the federal immigration laws." The issue is being discussed at a briefing sponsored by U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.).

News Article Mississippi Public Broadcasting September 13, 2012

Prison Reform Groups Call For End Of Federally funded Private Prisons

Prison reform advocates are calling for an end to private prisons that mainly hold illegal immigrants, including a Mississippi facility that erupted in a deadly riot this spring. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports the groups claim the prisons create the conditions that contributed to the May riot that left one guard dead.

There are 13 federally funded private prisons intended mainly to hold illegal immigrations nationwide.

One is the the Adams County Correctional Facility where a May prisoner riot left a guard dead.

Judy Green with the prison reform group Justice Strategies is calling for an end to these prisons saying they are over-crowded, have poor medical care and mistreat prisoners. "Compared with low security prisons that the bureau itself runs, these low security contract prisons have higher rates of mistakes. Higher rates of disturbances. And higher rates on contraband," Green said...

News Article Colorlines September 14, 2012

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

When Angelica Moreno’s brother died of cancer after nearly three years locked in a private prison in Mississippi, she vowed to fight so that he’d be the last to suffer such a fate. “I want to fight for every other person inside that jail,” she told me in July, weeks after her brother died. On Wednesday, Moreno joined a group of human rights and criminal justice advocates and a member of Congress for a briefing on Capitol Hill to halt the expansion of private federal prisons like the one that Moreno says killed her brother. “No other family should have to go through this.”

The federal government is poised to expand a little known part of the American incarceration system—privately operated facilities that hold immigrants convicted of crimes. Many of the inmates are charged criminally for what’s called “illegal reentry” when they’re picked up by Border Patrol trying to return to the country after a previous deportation. The facilities are among the only ones that the Bureau of Prisons has privatized and their expansion promises more profits for companies, like the Corrections Corporation of America, which runs the Adams County Correctional Center where Moreno’s brother was held...

News Article The Texas Tribune September 13, 2012

Advocacy Groups Target Private Prisons for Immigrants

The unnecessary prosecution of nonviolent illegal immigrants is sending ever larger numbers to poorly managed private prisons, a coalition of advocacy groups said in a report released Thursday, calling on Congress to reject the appropriation of $25,865,000 for 1,000 new private prison beds.

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.” These facilities, called “Criminal Alien Requirement” (CAR) prisons, are run by private companies including the Corrections Corporation of America, the Management & Training Corporation and the GEO Group...

JS Publication September 13, 2012

Privately Operated Federal Prisons for Immigrants: Expensive. Unsafe. Unnecessary

Presented before a House of Representatives briefing sponsored by Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado on September 13, 2012, Privately Operated Federal Prisons for Immigrants: Expensive, Unsafe, Unnecessary chronicles the May 2012 Adams County Correctional Center uprising in Natchez, Mississippi, a private for-profit facility operated by Corrections Corporation of America, under contract with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The report details some of the tragic personal consequences for Juan Villanueva, his family, and others caught in the midst of the horrific conditions at the facility, leading to the insurrection. The report weaves into this narrative a look at the rise and fall of the private prison industry, and its resurrection through the benefit of federal contracts to detain and imprison undocumented immigrants, in an atmosphere of moral panic after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

News Article McClatchy Newspapers November 1, 2011

Supreme Court case tests private prison vs. inmate rights

WASHINGTON — Prison hurt Richard Lee Pollard, in more than the usual ways.

Now, from improbable beginnings, the Supreme Court will examine Pollard’s treatment at a privately run California facility. The outcome could either shield or render more vulnerable the fast-growing private prison industry, not to mention what it might do for Pollard’s own post-prison life.

News Article The Explorer News March 30, 2005

Report: No reliable data on private prison savings (AZ)

It was 11 years ago when Arizona first entered the business of outsourcing its corrections operations to private, for-profit corporations with the approval of a privately-run state prison in Marana.

News Article

Judith Greene debates Reason Foundation's Adrian Moore on prison privatization

Judith Greene debates Adrian Moore, director of the Reason Foundation's Public Policy Institute, in a Corrections Connection forum on prison privatization. Click here to listen online.

 

JS Publication February 23, 2005

Cost-Saving or Cost-Shifting: The Fiscal Impact of Prison Privatization in Arizona

Arizona policymakers responded to claims that significant cost-saving have been achieved through privatization by nearly tripling the number of state-contracted beds. But Justice Strategies' analysis finds that these claims are based on flawed, outdated research that failed to address critical factors including population differences and the cost of financing.

Justice Strategies analysis finds cost-saving claims based on flawed, outdated research.

Arizona's corrections budget has doubled over the last fifteen years, placing a tremendous burden on taxpayers and on the families of state university students. Despite the growth in corrections spending, however, the state prison system remains underfunded and dangerously overcrowded.

Arizona's corrections crisis has led many to call for an overhaul of the state's sentencing system, which packs state prisons with non-violent substance abusers who make up half of all prisoners. Others argue that privatization is the answer to the state's prison woes because private companies can operate prisons at lower cost and finance new prisons the state cannot afford. Read more »

JS Publication October 1, 2004

From Abu Ghraib to America

Since the infamous photos of abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq first came to light, much has been said about the role that the U.S. military and CIA have played in connection with the human rights violations. But reports of similar abuse in the United States are all too common, which suggests that America's dehumanizing prison culture has now been exported elsewhere in the world.

In the October 2004 issue of The Open Society Institute's Ideas for an Open Society, Justice Strategies policy analyst Judith Greene explores how the "cruel but usual methods of control used by many U.S. prison personnel" are reflected in the abuses at Abu Ghraibl. Greene argues that what is ultimately needed is "a thorough overhaul of the harsh sentencing laws and policies that have driven the prison system to this unmanageable scale."

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