ICE and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) plan to build a massive immigration detention center in the Town of Southwest Ranches, just 30 minutes from Miami, FL. With 1,500 beds, this prison will be one of the largest in the country.
Since it hit the news last summer, immigrant rights’ advocates, residents and even environmentalists in South Florida, have voiced a strong and growing opposition against this new facility. The community has called on U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-20) to withdraw their current endorsements for CCA’s project. The controversy has grown to the point that the neighboring City of Pembroke Pines cut off the water that CCA needs for this development.
The will of the people has fallen on deaf ears. ICE, CCA and the Town of Southwest Ranches keep moving forward with the project.
Senate Passes Bill That Would Block Privatized Detention, Including Crete Detention Center
Today, the Illinois Senate passed SB 1064, Senator Antonio Munoz’s bill to bar the State, counties, and municipalities from contracting with private companies to run civil detention centers. SB 1064 passed the Illinois Senate by a vote of 34-17. This bill would block an immigration detention center being proposed for Crete, in the south Chicago suburbs. The bill now goes to the Illinois House. Continue reading
Resist the Crete Immigration Detention Center
Chicago, IL – Immigrant Families, activists, and supporters will embark on a 3 day walk from Little Village, Chicago to Crete Illinois. This action is a response to the “detention center” planned by Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE), Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and the village of Crete. While immigrant rights advocates have been demanding an end to all deportations and immigration reform, the Obama administration has instead done the opposite; deporting over 1 million immigrants and pushing “Immigration Detention Reform.” ICE is currently planning to build at least five detention centers nationwide located in states that have a high concentration of immigrants (California, Texas, Illinois, Florida, and New Jersey) Continue reading
Crete: Will a promised economic windfall go to the prison company or to residents?
But will Crete residents, and their neighbors in surrounding villages, realize the windfall of jobs and tax revenue that’s being promised in exchange for their support?
David Shapiro, a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union Prison Project, told National Public Radio last fall that the economic boom communities expect from private prisons are often overstated. Continue reading
March 14, 2012 In The Public Interest releases a groundbreaking report exposing the ways in which government contracting and privatization limit our access to public information. Part of a larger national initiative dedicated to promoting the importance of open government and the freedom of information, the report looks at how current open records laws fail to address and govern private contractors, outlining the information that is lost or hidden from public scrutiny. Weak open record laws prevent the public, journalists, advocates, and lawmakers from providing effective oversight and accountability of public resources and services. To address this, Floodlights Instead of Flashlights includes an explicit set of recommendations for lawmakers, media and advocates.
For a copy of the full report, click here.
Forum: Private prisons a risky gamble
By Kevin McDaniel | March 9, 2012 | Record Eagle
Legislators in Lansing are currently pushing through bills that would allow the GEO Group Inc. to house state prison inmates at a private prison in Baldwin in Lake County. What they’re not talking about, however, is that the state has already gone down this path and learned its lesson. Now the Legislature is moving to waste even more taxpayer dollars to learn it again.
GEO operated the facility from 1998 until 2005 to house Michigan’s youth offenders. Why did it close? Because funding for the contract was canceled when the facility proved to be more costly to run than 33 of the 37 other state-run facilities. Continue reading