Thu May 31, 2012, 04:29 PM
marmar (70,084 posts)
Guardian UK: America's corporate immigrant detention racket
America's corporate immigrant detention racket
Who benefits from immigrants awaiting hearings being locked up in worse conditions than criminal convicts? Only private prisons
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 30 May 2012
Not long after 11 September 2001, Steven Logan, the CEO of Cornell Companies (now part of the for-profit prison corporation GEO Group Inc) had good news for its shareholders. In a quarterly earnings call, Logan enthusiastically talked about tighter border control and a heightened focus on (immigrant) detention in the wake of the attacks. As he put it, "more people are gonna get caught. So I would say that's a positive."
Indeed, for those in the business of caging people for profit, there was something positive to be found in the aftermath of 9/11. With the number of immigrants held in detention each year (pdf) nearly doubling to 363,000, billions of dollars were being generated in revenue. For nearly everyone else – including the immigrants themselves, of course, and the ordinary Americans who are paying the price in more ways than one – this detention binge has been an overwhelming negative.
The ACLU of Georgia recently released a report titled "Prisoners for Profit", which examined conditions at four facilities in the state, including the Stewart Detention Center. Stewart is the largest immigrant detention center in the nation, run by the for-profit Correction Corporation of America (CCA.) The report is replete with allegations of abuse, mistreatment and medical neglect, and relates in detail the death of Roberto Medina Martinez, a 40-year-old detainee, who died from what his widow's lawyers claim was a treatable infection.
The report also highlights the disturbing fact that although the majority of immigrants have committed no crime other than not having the right paperwork, they are housed in punitive, prison-like conditions that, in some cases, are worse than those faced by convicted criminals. For instance, detainees are denied any contact visits with their families or loved ones, as a matter of Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) official policy. They are allowed only one hour of outdoor recreation five days a week, which is less outdoor time than prisoners in maximum security facilities can expect to get. .................(more)
The complete piece is at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/may/30/americas-corporate-immigrant-detention-racket
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