Say No to Prison Privatization!

On Wednesday, April 18, join with people of faith for the National Call-in Day to our state governors to say No to Prison Privatization!

Call your Governor with the message that people of faith say "no" to profit from the incarceration of our sisters and brothers.

"Governor, I am calling to ask that you publicly reject Correction Corporation of America's recent offer to privatize prisons in our state. As a person of faith, I believe no one should profit from the incarceration of human beings.  I join with people of faith throughout our state in calling for your public commitment by June 1 to say "no" to the privatization of prisons in our state."

For callers in Louisiana, here is some additional language:

"I oppose House Bill 850, being debated today, which enables the sale and privatization of the Avoyelles Correctional Center."

A letter was sent recently to 48 U.S. governors announcing the Corrections Corporation of America's "Investment Initiative" to spend up to $250 million to buy prisons from state, local, and federal governments. The "initiative" requires a minimum commitment of 20 years for the facility, maintaining 90% capacity over the 20-year period.  This outrageous offer strikes at the heart of a democracy grounded in human rights.

Together, let us raise our voices for justice!

Background

The private-prison industry is fast growing with the two largest companies, Corrections Corp. of America and GEO Group, posting profits of $2.9 billion by the end of 2010. Private prison corporations actively lobby for laws that incentivize filling prisons and detention facilities to increase their own profits at the expense of our communities.

Over 35 national faith organizations urged the governors to decline this dangerous, costly invitation. As people of faith to ensure that our states do not move toward increased privatization of correctional services, we call for evidence-based policies and practices proven to reduce recidivism and a reduction in the prison population. Read the complete letter.

In addition to CCA's recent offer, in states including Michigan, Louisiana, and New Hampshire, the push to privatize prisons extends far beyond the influence of Corrections Corporation of America.

In January 2012, the United Methodist Board of Pension & Health Benefits announced its decision to divest and prohibit investments in private prisons.  Read more...

In 2003, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly called for the abolition of private prisons. On March 1, 2012, the newly formed Presbyterian Criminal Justice Network hand-delivered letters to their governors, saying no to private prisons: not in our state, not anywhere.

For further study

To Be Free At Last tobefreeatlast.net

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In The Age of Colorblindness Book & Study Guide: http://www.tobefreeatlast.net/store

ACLU - Banking on Bondage

Immigrants for Sale, http://youtu.be/vuGE1VxVsYo

Justice Policy - Gaming the System

Detention Watch - Private Prisons

Articles

NPR - Town Relies on Troubled Youth Prisons for Profits

NPR - Prison Economics Help Drive Ariz. Immigration Law

NPR - Who Benefits When a Private Prison Comes to Town?

NY Times - Getting Tough on Immigrants to Turn a Profit 

NY Times - Private Prisons Found to Offer Little in Savings

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