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 Los Angeles Times August 25, 2012

Sheriff Baca may defy proposed law easing immigration enforcement

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca is among the California law enforcement officials who may defy a proposed state law and continue to detain arrestees who are illegal immigrants when asked to do so by federal authorities.

The Trust Act, which cleared the state Legislature on Friday, is the latest measure nationwide to push back against federal immigration policy, either by reducing or increasing enforcement. The law would prohibit local authorities from complying with federal detention requests except when a suspect has been charged with a serious or violent crime...

News Article Huffington Post August 23, 2012

Secure Communities Costs Los Angeles County More Than $26 Million A Year: Report

WASHINGTON -- Los Angeles County is spending more than $26 million a year to hold undocumented immigrants under a federal immigration enforcement initiative, individuals it would otherwise release, according to a report on Thursday. Critics say that demonstrates the high cost of the program, in which some local governments would rather not participate.

The report by Justice Strategies found that the cost of Secure Communities, a cooperative program between local police and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, is steep mainly because jails hold suspected undocumented immigrants are held an average of 20 days longer at ICE's request than they otherwise would. The advocacy group examined public records from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department provided to the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.

News Article Southern California Public Radio 89.3 KPCC August 23, 2012

Report: LA County spends $26 million a year to hold undocumented immigrants under Secure Communities

A new report finds that Los Angeles County spends $26 million a year to detain undocumented immigrants for the federal Secure Communities program.

Here’s how Secure Communities works: When local law enforcement makes any arrest, the detainees' fingerprints are sent to a federal database. If the person is deportable, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will ask local law enforcement to keep the person in detention for no more than 48 hours, until federal agents can transfer that person to one of its facilities.

News Article Colorlines August 23, 2012

Report: Deportation Program Costs L.A. County More Than $26 Million

Los Angeles County is spending an estimated $26 million a year to hold undocumented immigrants under the Secure Communities program, according to a report released Thursday by Justice Strategies. Secure Communities, also known as S-Comm, checks the legal status of anyone booked into a local jail and transfers those who are undocumented to ICE custody.

Among the report’s findings:

  • Los Angeles County taxpayers spend over $26 million per year to detain immigrants for ICE.
  • Individuals in Los Angeles County custody who are subject to immigration detainers spend, on average, 20.6 extra days in county custody.
  • California taxpayers spend an estimated $65 million annually to detain immigrants for ICE.
  • Based on L.A. County averages the report concludes S-Comm is costing the state an estimated $65 million.
JS Publication August 23, 2012

The Cost of Responding to Immigration Detainers in California

In our criminal justice system, detainers to hold individuals wanted by law enforcement agencies are issued by judges after they have reviewed the underlying circumstances leading to the request. Immigration detainers, or “ICE holds” are issued by ICE administrative officials without the benefit of judicial review. In this preliminary report, based on data from the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, Justice Strategies finds that the cost to Los Angeles of complying with these administrative requests is more than $26 million annually.