Tag Archives: prisons

“Don’t ever say thank you:” Lessons from privatization

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Journalist Shane Bauer worked undercover as a prison guard at a private CCA prison for four months.

Privatization means profits over people, every single time. Shane Bauer worked four months in a private prison, going undercover as a prison guard to report on what actually happens there. “Don’t ever say thank you” was one of the early lessons he learned, and perhaps one of the least damaging. Continue reading

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Stopping private prison profiteering in Minnesota

Reverend Armstrong

Reverend Ovester Armstrong, Jr. speaks to #StopCCA rally

“They are not building these prisons to stay empty,” Reverend Ovester Armstrong, Jr. told protesters at the Minnesota State Office Building on March 22. “They are building these prisons to fill them up.” Inside, the House Public Safety Committee held hearings on re-opening a private prison in Appleton. The private prison is owned by the Correctional Corporation of America (CCA), the largest prison company in the United States.

“We should help people, not make money off of them,” said Reverend Armstrong. “We should not let someone’s life be held hostage to a dollar bill.” Continue reading

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Death by privatization in U.S. prisons

More than 20,000 immigrant prisoners are serving their sentences at 11 privatized, immigrant-only contract prisons run by three companies: the Geo Group, the Corrections Corp. of America and the Management and Training Corp. Many of these prisoners are convicted only of illegal entry.

Private prisons cost less than federal prisons because they provide less. Immigrant prisoners — who are deported after serving time — don’t receive rehabilitation, education or job training, services considered essential for U.S. citizens held in government-operated prisons.

Even worse, these prisons fail to provide minimally adequate health care to inmates, leading to death for some and misery for many. Basic human rights standards require prisons to provide adequate medical care to inmates, regardless of their legal status.

This article originally published by Al Jazeera America.  Continue reading

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Private prisons, public shame

In May the state of Washington contracted with the GEO Group, one of the largest for-profit prison companies in the U.S., to move up to 1,000 inmates from the state’s overcrowded prisons to its correctional facility in Michigan, thousands of miles from their homes and families. This makes family visits and connection with the community harder, though studies show that inmates who receive more visits are less likely to re-offend after release. Continue reading

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Out of control: Prison populations in U.S. and Minnesota

From Prison Policy Initiative

Since 1979, the U.S. prison system has ballooned out of control. We now have the highest rate of incarceration in the world — 716 for every 100,000 residents. Minnesota has followed the trend. Our prison population went from less than 2,500 in 1978 to 10,000 in 2011, according to the Prison Policy Initiative’s analysis of Bureau of Justice statistics. That’s a change from about 50 people per 100,000 to almost 200 per 100,000 — much lower than the national rate, but still higher than the rates of all European countries except Russia and Azerbaijan. Continue reading

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