Campaign Updates

ENLACE-POSTER_outline_campaign11x85The Prison Divestment Campaign began in 2011 from the need to launch a comprehensive strategy to decriminalize immigrants and people of color, end detention, end mass incarceration, and demilitarize the border. It was not only Politicians that we needed to target, but also Private Prisons and Wall Street who were the other powerful force behind mass incarceration, the police state, immigrant detention, and deportation. The Campaign has since expanded, looking at how the private prison industry works to divide communities of color. We are building strong multiracial coalitions, emphasizing Black and Brown unity, to combat mass incarceration and immigration enforcement. We are working to divest from criminalization and incarceration, and demand reparations and reinvestment in our communities.

Enlace brings together organizations working on immigrant rights, criminal justice, another social justice groups to end mass incarceration and achieve legalization for all immigrants. For additional information visit Enlace’s webpage

Campaign to End Mass Incarceration, Deportations & Detention

2016 Week of Action

Click here for a listing of all the actions this week and to sign the petition to End Tax Breaks for Prisons

Senate Bill Would End Tax Breaks for Private Prison Companies

New legislation would make it harder for private prisons to masquerade as real estate investment trusts. (Photo: Pixabay)

New legislation would make it harder for private prisons to masquerade as real estate investment trusts. (Photo: Pixabay)

Via TruthOut | Mike Ludwig | July 19, 2016

Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) introduced legislation last week that would make it tougher for private prison companies to take advantage of federal rules that provide massive tax breaks for special real estate firms, a move that racial justice and prison divestment activists say is an important step toward confronting the corporations that control around 8 percent of the nation’s prisons and immigrant jails.

As Truthout has reported, the nation’s two largest prison firms, GEO Group and Corrections Corporations of America (CCA), avoided a combined $113 million in federal taxes in 2015 alone. Large portions of the companies are allowed to file with the IRS as Real Estate Investment Trusts, or REITs, which enjoy a special tax status designed to encourage real estate investment.

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BREAKING: OR Sen. Ron Wyden Introduces Bill to End Prison Tax Breaks

 Legislation will weaken private prison industry, divest from criminalization

Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today introduced legislation that would limit the ability of private companies that operate prisons to take advantage of special tax rules for Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS) — U.S. corporations that invest in real estate. The Ending Tax Breaks for Private Prisons Act of 2016 would significantly weaken the for-profit prison industry, and free up millions of dollars that could be reinvested in services that actually keep our communities safe.

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WYDEN INTRODUCES BILL TO STOP PRIVATE PRISONS FROM EXPLOITING TAX INCENTIVES FOR PROFIT

WASHINGTON – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today introduced legislation that would limit the ability of private companies that operate prisons to take advantage of special tax rules for Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS) — U.S. corporations that invest in real estate.

“I am very concerned that the U.S. prison system has become a way for private enterprises to turn an unfair profit,” said Wyden. “Our broken down tax code has made this possible by allowing the private prison industry to take advantage of tax rules aimed at REITs. As part of rethinking our criminal justice system, particularly as it results in the mass incarceration of low-income and minority individuals, the tax rules for REITs must be changed so that we are not encouraging companies to unjustly profit from prison detention services.”

To qualify as a REIT for tax purposes, a company must meet specific rules such as deriving most of its income from passive, generally real-estate-related, investments.  Unlike a subchapter C Corporation, to the extent REIT rules are met, the income distributed to shareholders is deductible, and therefore not taxed at the corporate level.  In addition, a portion of a REIT’s income can be derived from active business activity to the extent it is from a taxable subsidiary of the REIT.

Private prison REITs derive a significant portion of their income from services related to the management and operation of detention facilities.   Similar to a rule for hotel and health care facilities, Senator Wyden’s legislation prevents any kind of active business activity at or in connection with the prison facility from qualifying for REIT status through a subsidiary.

The Ending Tax Breaks for Private Prisons Act of 2016 introduced today can be found here.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | July 14, 2016 | Contact: Lindsey Held (202) 224-4515
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Night Out for Safety & Liberation

REDEFINING THE CONVERSATION AROUND PUBLIC SAFETY

On Night Out for Safety and Liberation, people across the country come together to redefine what #SafetyIs: dignity, opportunity, and power in our communities. Join the New York Worker Center Federation and Enlace in a conversation and action on Aug 2nd on what #SafetyIs.

On Night Out for Safety and Liberation, organizations are hosting events in 20 cities across the county where we will redefine what public safety means to us.

Every year on the first Tuesday of August, people across the country participate in neighborhood block parties as part of the National Night Out sponsored by the National Association of Neighborhood Watch. National Night Out promotes “police-community” partnerships as the route to safer communities—but we know that police are not the pathway to safety.

On Night Out for Safety and Liberation, we are starting a different conversation about what #SafetyIs—one that is focused on how we can build equity, power, and opportunity in our communities.VISIT THE WEBSITE FOR MORE INFO!

Stand with the Movement for Black Lives

Guided by love, we continue to stand together for justice, human dignity and our shared goal of ending all forms of state violence against Black people. We organize, occupy, demonstrate, march and chant for a new future: A future we can be proud of. We stand on the shoulders of our ancestors, who fought for their freedom and ours. Like them, we want a world where our lives matter.

We want an end to the war being waged on Black people, in all its forms. Some people fear change, and that’s ok. Many will attempt to halt our progress. That is not ok. Some will continue their attempts to undermine us, but we will remain undeterred.

For far too long, our unjust deaths have meant business as usual in this country. No more.

Our work remains undone until our lives are free of violence. That is the future we imagine.

Until that day comes:
We pledge togetherness— we will not allow ourselves to be divided.
We pledge to allow our thinking and actions to be guided by love.
We pledge to bring courage and power into our communities, and stop their flow out.
We pledge not to be controlled by fear, but instead by our dreams.

Join us, and pledge to do the same: Stand with the Movement for Black Lives.

The Corrections Corporation of America, by the Numbers

Where the pioneering private prison company operates, who owns it, and who’s taking it to court.

Read Mother Jones reporter Shane Bauer’s firsthand account of his four months spent working as a guard at a corporate-run prison in Louisiana.

The Corrections Corporation of America launched the era of private prisons in 1983, when it opened an immigration detention center in an former motel in Houston, Texas. Today the Nashville-based company houses more than 66,000 inmates, making it the country’s second-largest private prison company. In 2015, it reported $1.9 billion in revenue and made more than $221 million in net income—more than $3,300 for each prisoner in its care. More on CCA’s operations:
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#HungerStrike by Community Leaders to Protest the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA)

cca-hunger-strike

 

What: Hunger Strike by Activists and Community Leaders to Protest the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA)

When: July 5th, 2016 at 6pm

Where: 551 S. 35th St. San Diego, CA 92113

San Diego, on July 5th, 2016 – This is a call for ACTION that will begin on July 5th in Southeast San Diego as we stand in solidarity to protest against the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). Community Leaders and Local Activists will execute a hunger strike next to the Oceanview Facility located at 551 S. 35th St. San Diego, CA 92113. The hunger strike will continue until all action items requested by the protest organizers have been satisfied.

The CCA is the largest for-profit prison industry in America and they currently operate three Correctional Facilities across San Diego County. Two out of the three facilities are located in the heart of Southeast San Diego and Barrio Logan. Both centers are located in residential neighborhoods within close proximity of homes, churches, schools, and businesses. CCA is looking to capitalize through alternative services in order to boost their revenue by purchasing re-entry/detention centers across the country.

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