Last week, we wrote about the Bureau of Prison’s decision to get rid of private prisons that were being operated for profit. The consensus is that privately run correctional facilities are more dangerous for guards and inmates, provide less programming and tools to be used by residents upon their release, and deny due process to inmates more often than BOP-operated prisons. All of this with no substantial cost savings.
THE PRIVATE RUNNING OF IMMIGRATION DETAINEE CENTERS MUST BE PHASED OUT.
This week, the Boston Globe legitimately raised similar concerns about “the Department of Homeland Security, which uses private contractors such as the GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of America to house immigrant detainees.”
The paper points out that private prisons house roughly 12 percent “of all the federal inmates subject to the Justice Department’s Bureau of Prisons. That’s more than 70 percent of the detainees under Homeland Security jurisdiction.”
The same problems that exist in privately run prisons also abound in privately operated immigration detention centers—indeed the problems are more intense. The Globe notes, “Meanwhile, documented abuses at privately run immigration detention centers border on the criminal, with disastrous results — immigrants who have died while being held, due to substandard medical care; a high number of suicides at a detention facility in Arizona; and hunger strikes by mothers detained with their children in Texas to protest inhumane conditions.”
PRIVATE CORRECTIONAL LOBBYISTS GO AFTER THE $3 BILLION IMMIGRATION BUSINESS.
To us, another primary concern is, as the Globe states, “Corrections contractors seek to keep beds filled by influencing government policy on issues such as mandatory sentencing and immigration reform,” and the private industry uses powerful lobbyists to do their bidding in the “more than $3 billion” business.