Immigrants prove big business for prison companies

The Associated Press

MIAMI (AP) – The U.S. is locking up more illegal immigrants than ever, generating lucrative profits for the nation’s largest prison companies, and an Associated Press review shows the businesses have spent tens of millions of dollars lobbying lawmakers and contributing to campaigns.

The cost to American taxpayers is on track to top $2 billion for this year, and the companies are expecting their biggest cut of that yet in the next few years thanks to government plans for new facilities to house the 400,000 immigrants detained annually.

After a decade of expansion, the sprawling, private system runs detention centers everywhere from a Denver suburb to an industrial area flanking Newark’s airport, and is largely controlled by just three companies. Continue reading

ICE pulls plug on immigration detention center in Southwest Ranches

Another victory!

Article from the CCA Go Away! Campaign


Article from CCA Go Away!
JUNE 16, 2012

ICE cancels tentative agreement to build a for-profit immigrant lock-up in South Florida. 

David vs. Goliath battle results in victory for immigrant rights, residents and environmentalists

Nov 5, 2011 - Meeting with CCA and ICE officialsAfter a long and heated fight in South Florida, ICE announced yesterday that their plan to bring one of the largest for-profit immigration detention centers in the country, through an agreement with the Town of Southwest Ranches and private prison giant, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), is dead. Immigrant advocates and immigrant families are claiming this as a victory against the mass incarceration of immigrants driven by profit, thus saving taxpayers millions of dollars.

Below is a statement from Maria Rodriguez, Executive Director for the Florida Immigrant Coalition, the organization who spearheaded the grassroots campaign “CCA Go Away” together with Broward residents.

“After one year of hearing our elected officials say this was a ‘done deal’, including Cong. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, we always believed that anything was possible as long as we could get people together to unite their voices in opposition and to build power in their communities. All of us can and should stand up to powerful interests, including corporations and elected officials, who are not watching or representing the interests of those affected. There is no such thing as a ‘done deal’ when people unite and do everything they can to hold their leaders accountable.

This proposed immigration detention center was always wrong and unnecessary from any point of view. South Florida didn’t want more immigrant families being torn apart because of increased detentions and deportations; Broward residents didn’t want a massive prison near their homes; taxpayers couldn’t continue feeding the business of immigrant detention making companies like CCA increase its profits; and the Everglades couldn’t take more irresponsible urban development that threatened its stability.

We have witnessed the influence that for-profit prison companies have on our policies and legislators and we want them out of Florida all together. For-profit prison corporations are lobbying and promoting laws that deepen the crisis of mass incarceration of people of color in this country. To make it worse, private prison companies like CCA and the GEO Group have a long track record of cutting corners with the safety of detainees so they can make more money.  The devastating results include wrongful deaths, riots, and sexual assaults; many of which get covered up.  CCA is not a good neighbor.

The national expansion of detention for profit has met nationwide resistance and decisive victories for those who oppose it. Since 2011, the National Prison Divestment Campaign has been instrumental to get the United Methodist Church and Pershing Square to divest their shares in CCA and Geo Group and more institutions are sure to follow suit. This year, the largest prison privatization effort in the country failed in the Florida legislature. In April, Valdosta County, GA, shelved a CCA project. Just this week,Crete, IL, voted down another CCA immigration prison in this Chicago suburb. Today, South Floridians celebrate this as a victory of diverse sectors that came together to protect our community. The coalition that came together stood up to the worst of the 1% and won.

Costly immigrant detention that profits private corporations like CCA and the Geo Group on the backs of taxpayers is immoral, expensive, and unnecessary. ICE itself has hailed cheaper alternatives to detention to be just as effective and saves millions in taxpayer money. In the absence of comprehensive immigration reform, ICE must stop its expansion of costly detention and the brutal separation of families.

This decision came on the same day as President Obama announced administrative relief for young immigrants, who were often unnecessarily incarcerated in private prisons such as the one CCA planned to build in South Florida.

Immigrants, and especially Latinos, finally feel that our voices are being heard. We have made it clear that we will not accept any profiteering from our pain and the separation of our families.“

CCA GO AWAY from South Florida! Sign Petition!

It’s time for ICE to cancel CCA’s proposed immigration detention center in Southwest Ranches, FL!

ICE and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) plan to build a massive immigration detention center in the Town of Southwest Ranches, just 30 minutes from Miami, FL. With 1,500 beds, this prison will be one of the largest in the country.

Since it hit the news last summer, immigrant rights’ advocates, residents and even environmentalists in South Florida, have voiced a strong and growing opposition against this new facility. The community has called on U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-20) to withdraw their current endorsements for CCA’s project. The controversy has grown to the point that the neighboring City of Pembroke Pines cut off the water that CCA needs for this development.

The will of the people has fallen on deaf ears. ICE, CCA and the Town of Southwest Ranches keep moving forward with the project.

Help us put the FREEZE on ICE and tell CCA to GO AWAY! SIGN PETITION Continue reading


Senate Passes Bill That Would Block Privatized Detention, Including Crete Detention Center 

Today, the Illinois Senate passed  SB 1064, Senator Antonio Munoz’s bill to bar the State, counties, and municipalities from contracting with private companies to run civil detention centers.  SB 1064 passed the Illinois Senate by a vote of 34-17.  This bill would block an immigration detention center being proposed for Crete, in the south Chicago suburbs.  The bill now goes to the Illinois House. Continue reading

Report: The Expansion and Failed Reform of Immigration Detention in New Jersey

New Jersey Advocates Release Report Denouncing Conditions in

Essex County Immigration Detention Facilities

Newark, NJ – New Jersey Advocates for Immigrant Detainees* and the NYU School of Law Immigrant Rights Clinic will release a comprehensive report on immigration detention in Essex County.  The report, “Immigration Incarceration:  The Expansion and Failed Reform of Immigration Detention in Essex County, NJ,” takes a hard look at the results of the expansion of immigration detention in Essex County and will be released on March 23, 2012 at a conference on immigration detention issues at Rutgers—Newark Center for Law & Justice.** A full copy of the report is available online at Continue reading

Action to Stop the Crete Immigration Detention Camp

Resist the Crete Immigration Detention Center
Chicago, IL – Immigrant Families, activists, and supporters will embark on a 3 day walk from Little Village, Chicago to Crete Illinois. This action is a response to the “detention center” planned by Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE), Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and the village of Crete. While immigrant rights advocates have been demanding an end to all deportations and immigration reform, the Obama administration has instead done the opposite; deporting over 1 million immigrants and pushing “Immigration Detention Reform.” ICE is currently planning to build at least five detention centers nationwide located in states that have a high concentration of immigrants (California, Texas, Illinois, Florida, and New Jersey) Continue reading

Crete: Will a promised economic windfall go to the prison company or to residents?

Crete: Will a promised economic windfall go to the prison company or to residents?Crete: Will a promised economic windfall go to the prison company or to residents?

By YanaKunichoff | March 7, 2012 | Chicago Muckrakers

The Village of Crete, Ill., is surprisingly small for a community that sits just 30 minutes south of Chicago’s bustling Loop. The Will County village has fewer than 9,000 residents and a small, but solid, middle-class majority–the median household income is $70,074, according to the 2010 Census. For those residents, a prison that brings an influx of jobs might not seem like a bad idea.

But will Crete residents, and their neighbors in surrounding villages, realize the windfall of jobs and tax revenue that’s being promised in exchange for their support?

David Shapiro, a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union Prison Project, told National Public Radio last fall that the economic boom communities expect from private prisons are often overstated. Continue reading

Private prisons a risky gamble

Forum: Private prisons a risky gamble

By Kevin McDaniel | March 9, 2012 | Record Eagle

Legislators in Lansing are currently pushing through bills that would allow the GEO Group Inc. to house state prison inmates at a private prison in Baldwin in Lake County. What they’re not talking about, however, is that the state has already gone down this path and learned its lesson. Now the Legislature is moving to waste even more taxpayer dollars to learn it again.

GEO operated the facility from 1998 until 2005 to house Michigan’s youth offenders. Why did it close? Because funding for the contract was canceled when the facility proved to be more costly to run than 33 of the 37 other state-run facilities.  Continue reading

California to dish out $602 million for jail construction not education

California to dish out $602 million for jail construction

By  | KALW News | March 8, 2012 |  

The Corrections Standards Authority today approved $602,881,000 in funds for jail construction projects in 11 counties, the second phase in what’s now a $1.2 billion investment in county jails.

Los Angeles will receive $100 million, as will Riverside and Orange counties. Smaller grants will go to Santa Barbara, Tulare, Stanislaus, Kings, Shasta, Sutter, Madera, and Imperial counties.

Originally authorized in 2007 under AB 900, the allocations were recently kicked into gear to help counties deal with increased responsibility for low-level offenders under AB 109, the state’s prison realignment plan.

Continue reading

Cali heading wrong direction- more counties plan jail expansion


 California Counties Going Wrong Direction with Realignment

Updated Report Card Shows More Counties Plan Jail Expansion

Press Contact:  Isaac Ontiveros | Californians United for a Responsible Budget| 510 517 6612

California—As the Corrections Standards Authority announce grants for jail construction for Phase II of AB900, advocates across the state denounced the awards.

“Borrowing over $600 million to build jails we don’t need and can’t afford to operate is a huge step in the wrong direction,” said Debbie Reyes of the Fresno-based California Prison Moratorium Project, a member of Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB). “Gov. Brown’s realignment plan is an opportunity to stop putting people in cages who don’t need to be there. Instead of Sacramento funding jail expansion, we should be spending more money on community-based services.” Continue reading

Pembroke Pines Cancels Water for Private Prison

MEDIA ADVISORY: Residents Against Inappropriate Development, Inc.

 CONTACTS: Shirley Merchant (754) 223-9707 | | swranchesdetentioncenter

The Interlocal Agreement Between Pembroke Pines and Southwest Ranches is Cancelled!


Thursday, March 9, 2012 –  After four months, a previously deferred motion to terminate the Fire/EMS/Water Inter-Local Agreement with Southwest Ranches was reintroduced and the result was the contract was terminated for convenience.  For the past six months, this contract has come under “fire” from the prison opposition movement due to the incorporation of two clauses, which supported the proposed ICE immigrant prison through a provision guaranteeing water capacity within the City and that a water/sewer agreement would be expeditiously approved. Continue reading

Stop Prison Expansion in Southwest Ranches

Southwest Ranches (SWR) is under talks with Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and the Department of Homeland Security/ Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to build a 1,500 bed immigration detention center in SWR.

Join us in protesting against ICE and this potential detention center

Date: Thursday, March 8, 2012
Time: 7:00pm
Location: Border Patrol 15720 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines, FL 33027  Continue reading

Community Groups Reject LA County Bid For $100M Grant To Build New Jails

VIA CBS Community Groups Reject LA County Bid For $100M Grant To Build New Jails

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A number of Southland activist groups are opposing efforts by county officials to obtain state funding for jail upgrades and new jail construction.

KNX 1070′s Pete Demetriou reports they want Los Angeles County supervisors to reject a potential $100 million grant.

Mary Sutton of Californians United for a Responsible Budget said plans for a new women’s prison in Castaic and other projects are anything but a responsible use of taxpayer dollars.

“If there is construction dollars, what they should be building is housing, job training centers, drug rehab centers,” said Sutton. Continue reading

Will the City of Pembroke Pines vote against the Detention Center?

MEDIA ADVISORY: Residents Against Inappropriate Development, Inc.

Will the City of Pembroke Pines vote against the Detention Center?

 Tuesday, March 7, 2012 – The research has been done… the time has come for a decision to be made.  All of the Pembroke Pines Commissioner’s have come out publicly that the city does not agree with this facility being placed in Southwest Ranches.  Their non-contiguous parcel carved out of land that is surrounded by Pembroke Pines homes and schools and unincorporated Broward County.  Even the November 10th, 2011 Politifact article confirms that the City Commissioners have had a vote up or down with regards to the detention center.  Continue reading