Prison Privatization

JS Publication July 13, 2016

Indefensible: A Decade of Mass Incareration of Migrants Prosecuted for Crossing the Border

"Indefensible,” a new book from Justice Strategies and Grassroots Leadership, examines the costs and failures of over a decade of criminalization of border migration. Operation Streamline was launched in 2005 and added criminal convictions to the previous civil removal process, and is known for the disturbing spectacle of mass courtroom proceedings in which up to 80 shackled migrants are arraigned, convicted and sentenced for misdemeanor improper entry charges. While the Streamline courts have been scaled back in several districts, the legacy continues in federal courts, and includes related massive immigration prosecutions for both improper entry and felony re-entry. In 2015, half (49 percent) of all federal prosecutions were made up of what is essentially a crime of trespassing, in the form of improper entry and re-entry prosecutions. Read more »

News Article Full Frontal with Samantha Bee March 30, 2016

Samantha Bee Makes Serious Points on Private Prison Industry

Samantha Bee of TBS's Full Frontal With Samantha Bee makes some serious points in her comedy show about the private prison industry's effect on our criminal justice system.  Although couched in comedic expression, her video raises important concerns about the threat private for-profit corporations pose when operating within any part of our criminal justice system.  Allegations of kickbacks to criminal justice officials, lobbying legislators for harsher and longer criminal penalties, and a Pennsylvania judge with ties to a private prison corporation found guilty of sending juveniles to prison for profit, should concern all Americans who understand the need for vigilance in the safeguarding of our freedoms, and who expect impartial justice.

JS Update July 28, 2015

Immigrant Children Ordered Released

In a rebuke of the federal government's position that a prior consent decree (the Agreement) prohibiting the incarceration of unaccompanied minors in unsafe or secured facilities (detention centers) did not apply to accompanied minors crossing the US Mexico border with their parents, in last summer's refugee crisis, Federal District Court Judge Dolly M. Gee ordered the government to show cause, within ninety (90) days, why the remedies she concludes are needed to protect the well being of incarcerated accompanied minors (class members) held by ICE and the US Border Patrol, should not be imposed.  In Jenny L. Flores, et al. v. Jeh Johnson, et al. decided July 24, 2015, Judge Gee grants the plaintiffs motion to enforce the Agreement as to class members and denies the government's motion to amend the Agreement.  In her order, Judge Gee would further require the defendant federal government to comply with the following remedies:
1. Make and record prompt and continuous efforts toward family reunification and the release of minors under the Agreement.
2. Comply with the Agreement by releasing class members without unnecessary delay in first order of preference to a parent, including a parent who either was apprehended with the child minor or presented herself or himself with a class member.

JS Update February 10, 2015

"Shadow Prisons" Transforming Rural America's Landscapes

Follow this link to see Fusion writers Jorge Rivas and Cristina Costantini's birds-eye-view of how "Shadow Prisons" used to house over 55,000 immigrants, have transformed landscapes in rural America. http://fusion.net/story/43342/before-and-after-how-shadow-prisons-transformed-rural-america/

JS Update February 10, 2015

Director Judy Greene Quoted on Shadow Prisons

In their multimedia Fusion article, with quotes from Justice Strategies' Director Judy Greene, authors Cristina Costantini and Jorge Rivas describe how the U.S. Government has created a second-class federal prison system specifically targeted to holding immigrants in private for-profit prisons. http://interactive.fusion.net/shadow-prisons/

JS Publication October 8, 2014

For-Profit Family Detention: Meet the Private Prison Corporations Making Millions by Locking Up Refugee Families

In this joint report by Grassroots Leadership and Justice Strategies, we review the history of charges of sexual abuse and neglect of children, indifference to medical needs, inadequate and unsanitary food, and brutal treatment by staff, levied in lawsuits, government investigations, and allegations by those held in family detention facilities operated by private, for-profit, prison corporations.  These same corporations are now being contracted by the federal government to detain refugee families arriving at our southern border after fleeing the violence in Central America.

JS Publication August 13, 2014

Justice Strategies Testifies before US Dept. of State on Border Crossing Prosecutions

In this testimony provided to the US Department of State, Justice Strategies' Director, Judith Greene discusses our concerns with the tremendous increase in misdemeanor and felony prosecutions filed against those crossing the border under 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1325 and Sec. 1326, respectively, from 2002 to 2013.   In addition, we express our concerns with the segregated, sub-standard prisons being exclusively administered by private, for-profit prison corporations under contract to the US Bureau of Prisons.  This testimony is provided as part of the reveiw of the US government by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination being conducted in Geneva.  Follow our reporting on the proceedings in Geneva on Facebook and Twitter.

News Article Huffington Post August 23, 2013

War On Undocumented Immigrants Threatens To Swell U.S. Prison Population

Justice Strategies Director, Judith Greene is quoted on the front page of the Huffington Post's business section in an article focused on the ever increasing cost of the federal government's policy to incarcerate immigrants in mass, a failed tactic borrowed from the nation's "War on Drugs."
News Article HISPANTV September 14, 2012

Negocio de cárceles privadas, el más próspero en EEUU

In a news feature entitled, "Private prison business, the most prosperous in the U.S." HISPANTV's Spanish-language Washington Correspondent, Alfredo Miranda, covers the Sep. 13, 2012 hearing held, by Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado, on the role of private prisons in the incarceration of immigrants and their treatment in those facilities, funded by contracts with the federal Bureau of Prisons. Miranda interviews: Angelica Morena, sister of Juan Villanueva, who states her brother's death from cancer while in the custody of Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) was preventable; Judith Greene, Director, and Alexis Mazón, Research Associate, of Justice Strategies calling for an end to the funding of private prisons; and others. HISPANTV's Miranda states that in 2011, CCA and the GEO Group reported revenue of $3.3 billion, lobbying expenses of $20 million, and political contributions of $5 million.

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.).

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