Punishment and Profits: Immigration Detention

Fault Lines investigates the business of immigrant detention in the US.

“Immigration is a key issue in the US presidential election, with the Republican candidates trying to demonstrate their tough stance on undocumented immigrants.

But under the Obama administration, the detention and deportation of immigrants has reached an all-time high.

Every day, the US government detains more than 33,000 non-citizens at the cost of $5.5mn a day. That is a lot of money for the powerful private prison industry, which spends millions of dollars on lobbying and now operates nearly half of the country’s immigration detention centres.

Fault Lines travels to Texas and Florida to investigate the business of immigrant detention in the US and to find out how a handful of companies have managed to shape US immigration laws.”


Forced Out: A Unity Forum at the Crossroads of Deportation & Incarceration

Forced Out Unity ForumForced Out: A Unity Forum at the Crossroads of Deportation & Incarceration

Thursday April 5, 2012, 9:00AM – 4:00 PM
University of Illinois at Chicago

Workshop on intersections of detention, criminalization, and the LGBTQ experience will take place from 11:50-1:00 PM during the wrokshop session.
full schedule 

This city-wide forum provides a starting place for a conversation among individuals and families impacted by “mass detention.” It also gives students, activists and allies a chance to make connections across issues that are often seen as separate and even competing. By educating people about the shared logic of the prison and immigration systems, Forced Out will increase the links among affected groups and help to create a more unified voice for policy change across all communities.
One of the workshops will focus on the experiences of LGBTQ people in detention and incarceration systems. Workshops will take place from 11:50 AM to 1:00 PM. The “Resisting Criminalization of Sexuality and Gender” workshop will take place in Room 605. It is a collaboration between the Transformative Justice Law Project, the Immigrant Youth Justice League, and the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy.

Removing the Bars- Criminal Justice Conference

Removing the Bars: TAKE ACTION Kick Off Keynote Featuring Angela Y. Davis

Friday, March 23, 2012 – 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Columbia University, Morningside Campus, Alfred Lerner Hall, Roone Arledge Auditorium

This event will serve as the kick-off for the 2012 Removing the Bars conference on criminal justice and will feature a presentation from Angela Y. Davis, an American black activist, philosopher, feminist scholar and author. Prisoner rights has been one of Angela Davis’s major commitments and she is the founder of Critical Resistance, an organization working to abolish the prison-industrial complex. A spoken word performance and closing ceremony depicting the varieties of ways people have been impacted by the criminal justice s! ystem will follow the presentation. Continue reading

California colleges take back seat to California prisons

Via SF Gate

California colleges take back seat to California prisons

San Francisco State University President Robert Corrigan, who is retiring this year, and Provost Sue Rosser noted today in Washington that California is spending nearly as much money on prisons ($8.7 billion, or 9.45 percent of its budget), as it does on all of higher education ($9.3 billion, or 10.1 percent of its budget).

Corrigan said the numbers are actually more stark. Total operational budgets for all 23 campuses of the state universities and for all nine UC campuses is $4.6 billion, less than half what the state spends on prisons. Continue reading

Occupy movement challenges prison-industrial complex

Occupy movement challenges prison-industrial complex

By Betsey Piette | Workers World | March 4, 2012

Demonstrators chanted, “Tear down Jailhouses! Build up School Houses!” outside Heery International Inc.’s Philadelphia office as part of a national call from Occupy Oakland to Occupy for Prisoners on Feb. 20.

Heery, which profits from private prison construction, was paid $316 million in October to build a Graterford Prison extension to house 4,100 more inmates and a new death row facility.Organized by DecarceratePA and endorsed by Occupy Philadelphia, the protest targeted the disparity between increased funding for prison construction while Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett slashes funding for education and is pushing for more cuts. Continue reading

Occupy for Prisoners Comes Out Against Mass Incarceration

Occupy for Prisoners Comes Out Against Mass Incarceration

by: Yana Kunichoff | Truthout | February 22, 2012
Each time the 100-strong crowd assembled for the national Occupy for Prisoners day roared below the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago on Monday evening, the lights in a couple of windows would flicker on and off – prisoners up above, responding to the chants of “build schools, not prisons” and “we’re with you, brothers and sisters.”

“I can only imagine how excited they might have been to see that there are people in the free world that are concerned about them.” said Christan Bufford, an organizer for juvenile justice with the Southwest Youth Collaborative. “When you are in there [detention], you feel like you are the only person in the world.”

Bufford would know – he spent four months in the Illinois Youth Department of Corrected at the age of 16 after an aggravated gun charge and a probation violation. The statistics on mass incarceration for juveniles are bleak. For the more than 93,000 young people in the juvenile justice system in 2008, about 80 percent went on to have contact with the adult criminal justice system, found the MacArthur Foundation. Continue reading

Feb 20th National #Occupy Day in Support of Prisoners

Occupy Oakland is calling for February 20th, 2012 to be a “National Occupy Day in Support of Prisoners.” In the Bay Area we will “Occupy San Quentin,” to stand in solidarity with the people confined within its walls and to demand the end of the incarceration as a means of containing those dispossessed by unjust social policies.

Reason: Prisons have become a central institution in American society, integral to our politics, economy and our culture.

Between 1976 and 2000, the United States built on average a new prison each week and the number of imprisoned Americans increased tenfold.

Prison has made the threat of torture part of everyday life for millions of individuals in the United States, especially the 7.3 million people—who are disproportionately people of color—currently incarcerated or under correctional supervision. Continue reading

Congressional Briefing on Private Prisons and Mass Incarceration

The American Civil Liberties Union Invites you to attend a briefing on

Banking on Bondage: Private Prisons and Mass Incarceration

Thursday, February 23, 2012  from 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

U.S. House of Representatives Rayburn Office Building Room 2226 (Independence Avenue and South Capitol Street, Washington, DC 20540)

There are currently over 2.2 million people incarcerated in local jails or in state or federal prisons in the United States.  This mass imprisonment of human beings is both a moral failure and an economic one – especially at a time when more and more Americans are struggling to make ends meet and when state governments confront enormous fiscal crises.  Private prisons house approximately 16% of all federal prisoners and nearly half of all immigration detainees.  Although supporters of private prisons tout the idea that governments can save money through private facilities, the evidence for supposed cost savings is mixed at best. Continue reading

Life After the PIC

Life After the PIC

February 15th at 7pm 

Eastside Cultural Center (2277 International Blvd, Oakland)

The violence of the prison industrial complex has not only destroyed millions of lives but has also attacked our very ability to envision and build a truly strong and vibrant society.

Join us for an exciting evening of discussion and hope where we continue to fight against the PIC by imagining how our world would be if it really belonged to us!

Sponsored by the Abolitionist a project of Critical Resistance Oakland | 510-444-0484 | www.criticalresistance.org


Friday, January 27, 2012 9:00 a.m. -2:00 p.m.
Location: California State University, Fresno, University Business Center, Alice Peters Auditorium, Room: PB 191

Open to the public

This one-day seminar held at California State University, Fresno is sponsored by the College of Health and Human Services, Department of Social Work Education. It explores social issues related to crime, incarceration, and families in two very different locations: the welfare society of Finland and California, which has the largest prison system in the western world. The seminar will include presentations, the screening of a newindependent film, and a panel discussion with the community. Continue reading


by Adam Gopnik | The New Yorker

A prison is a trap for catching time. Good reporting appears often about the inner life of the American prison, but the catch is that American prison life is mostly undramatic—the reported stories fail to grab us, because, for the most part, nothing happens. One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich is all you need to know about Ivan Denisovich, because the idea that anyone could live for a minute in such circumstances seems impossible; one day in the life of an American prison means much less, because the force of it is that one day typically stretches out for decades. It isn’t the horror of the time at hand but the unimaginable sameness of the time ahead that makes prisons unendurable for their inmates. The inmates on death row in Texas are called men in “timeless time,” because they alone aren’t serving time: they aren’t waiting out five years or a decade or a lifetime. The basic reality of American prisons is not that of the lock and key but that of the lock and clock. Continue reading

Stop the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Stop the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Sunday 15 January 2012 | by: Staff, Rethinking Schools | News Analysis

Students take a break between class at Locke High School, in Los Angeles, May 14, 2010. (Photo: Michal Czerwonka / The New York Times)

“Every man in my family has been locked up. Most days I feel like it doesn’t matter what I do, how hard I try – that’s my fate, too.”
-11th-grade African American student, Berkeley, California

This young man isn’t being cynical or melodramatic; he’s articulating a terrifying reality for many of the children and youth sitting in our classrooms—a reality that is often invisible or misunderstood. Some have seen the growing numbers of security guards and police in our schools as unfortunate but necessary responses to the behavior of children from poor, crime-ridden neighborhoods. But what if something more ominous is happening? What if many of our students—particularly our African American, Latina/o, Native American, and Southeast Asian children—are being channeled toward prison and a lifetime of second-class status? Continue reading

Plan to privatize many state prisons is revived

Plan to Privatize Many State Prisons is Revived

By Lloyd Dunkelberger | Herald-Tribune | January 18, 2012

TALLAHASSEE- Florida lawmakers are reviving the largest prison privatization plan in the country, with a Senate committee on Wednesday voting to file two bills that would turn over 29 correctional facilities in an 18-county region — including Southwest Florida — to private companies.

The vote by the Senate Rules Committee — which was opposed by two Democratic members — is aimed at reversing a court ruling last year that negated the Legislature’s effort to carry out the major privatization plan through the state budget. Continue reading