We have been working with Grassroots Leadership, the group that recently released The Dirty Thirty: Nothing to Celebrate About 30 Years of Corrections Corporation of America.
We had a conference call recently where they told CAP that they are researching a report on 4 states that banish their incarcerated individuals to private prisons far from home. They asked CAP to reach out to families who have experienced their loved ones being thousands of miles from home.
If you can help (Kat Brady, CAP’s Coordinator, trusts these folks who were referred to her by Professor Michelle Dietch who was the keynote at our 2009 Unlocking Justice conference), please e-mail Kat, firstname.lastname@example.org, and include your contact information. Kat will forward your contact info to Holly Kirby of Grassroots Leaadership.
This is an important report and we need to keep prodding Hawai`I to get our facilities in shape (both physically and staff and program-wise) to bring our folks home. Please help this effort, if can.
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More on Grassroots Leadership:
We believe that no one should profit from the incarceration of human beings. We work with communities across the country to abolish for-profit prisons, jails, and detention centers. We strive to reduce criminalization and incarceration.”
Grassroots Leadership is a multi-racial team of organizers who help Southern and Southwest community, labor, faith, and campus organizations think critically, work strategically and take direct action to end social and economic oppression, gain power, and achieve justice and equity.
Sustainable social change requires both a grassroots movement and change in the power structure. Grassroots Leadership employs three strategies to achieve sustainable social change:Grassroots Organizing:
We believe that sustainable social change must have as its base a strong grassroots movement. Grassroots Leadership designs organizing campaigns that invite people to participate and be involved. Without broad based support, changes can be undone with the stroke of a pen.
We must be informed and ready to educate. Becoming experts on the prison and detention privatization and its impact on individuals and communities gives us the standing to speak to media, and decision makers, and allows us to effectively educate the grassroots.
Constructing a Media Narrative:
We understand the power of the media to shape a narrative and the how pressure can be place on decision makers. We use traditional and social media to mount campaigns. These campaigns reinforce the grassroots and influence decision makers.”
“Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the nation’s oldest and largest for-profit private prison corporation, is commemorating its 30th anniversary throughout 2013 with a series of birthday celebrations at its facilities around the country.
Over the last 30 years, CCA has benefited from the dramatic rise in incarceration and detention in the United States. Since the company’s founding in 1983, the incarcerated population has risen by more than 500 percent to more than 2.2 million people. Meanwhile, the number of people held in immigration detention centers has exploded from an average daily population of 131 people to over 32,000 people on any given day.
CCA has made profits from, and at times contributed to, the expansion of tough-on-crime and anti-immigrant policies that have driven prison expansion. Now a multi-billion dollar corporation, CCA manages more than 65 correctional and detention facilities with a capacity of more than 90,000 beds in 19 states and the District of Columbia.  The company’s revenue in 2012 exceeded more than $1.7 billion.
While the company has become a multibillion dollar corporation, it has also become exceedingly controversial, with a record of prisoner abuse, poor pay and benefits to employees, scandals, escapes, riots, and lawsuits marking its history. Faith denominations, civil rights groups, criminal justice reform organizations, and immigrant rights advocates have repeatedly argued that adding the profit motive to the prison and immigrant detention systems provides perverse incentives to keep incarceration rates high.
To mark the company’s milestone anniversary, Grassroots Leadership and the Public Safety and Justice Campaign have sought to highlight why there is nothing to celebrate about 30 years of for-profit incarceration. This report highlights just some of the shameful incidents that litter CCA’s history.
As well as unearthing notable scandals and violations that have taken place over the company’s last three decades, this report charts several other key areas in which CCA has left a dubious legacy. From controversial economic and political ties to operational cost-cutting and depressing labor practices, CCA’s drastic efforts to maximize profits only serve to demonstrate the fundamental reasons why the for-profit prison industry is at odds with the goals of reducing incarceration rates and raising correctional standards.
This report highlights only 30 incidents in the company’s history, but could have been much more expansive. We hope it lends a critical eye to the role of for-profit prison firms in criminal justice and immigration policies, and serves as a starting point for community members and organizations seeking to learn about the for-profit private prison industry.”