Monday, September 26, 2011

Profiting from Pain and Misery

Quick link today to a great, detailed expose regarding an immigration detention facility in Essex County, NJ, which is about to undergo some minor reforms aimed at increasing the humanity of ICE detention.  I won't go into all the  details, but the article does a great job of discussing how the industry has reaped tremendous profits from the suffering of folks who try to come to this country to make a better life for themselves.  As Amy Gottlieb of the American Friends' Service Committee said, "[The industry is] making money off the backs of immigrant suffering."


  1. Hey Mike! Check out this CCA-related scam to warehouse people CCA pressured state legislatures to have arrested so CCA could make more money:

  2. And this too:

  3. Hey there - great finds! CCA and the GEO Group have long been in the business of writing and pushing for legislation to increase rates of incarceration. Through their work in ALEC in the 90's, the industry helped passed 3-strikes laws, mandatory minimum sentences, and "truth-in-sentencing" legislation (requiring prisoners to serve more of their sentences), each of which has directly contributed to our country's absurdly overblown rate of incarceration.

    But the even seedier side of this is the interstate transport of prisoners. Private prisons are often built in poor, rural areas where they can be built cheaper and pay less taxes. When state prisons overflow, prisoners often find themselves transported, sometimes across state lines, sometimes for thousands of miles, to private prisons. California in particular has been looking for ways to reduce its in-state prison population because the Supreme Court ordered it to release more than 40,000 prisoners, because conditions are so bad due to overcrowding that it violates the prisoners' fundamental constitutional rights.

    So don't be surprised if, in the near future, you hear of many other empty or half-empty private prisons looking into housing California prisoners. It's really a remarkable cycle the industry has created for its own sustainability. They pass laws to drive up rates of incarceration, causing a crisis of beds, then offer governments a way out of facing responsibility for leading our country to having the greatest rates of incarceration in the world.