Our government’s commitment to for-profit prisons wants to lock up more mothers and children

Immigration and Customs Enforcement is striking deals with private prison companies to lock up a “guaranteed minimum” of mothers with their children in euphemistically-termed family detention centers.

The 2009 congressional mandate for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to keep a minimum of 34,000 people minimum locked up at any given time is already well-established. But a new report by the Center for Constitutional Rights and Detention Watch Network reveals that this federal quota rests, in part, on aggressive deals with companies in the business of locking up families…

According to the investigation, which based its findings on documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, such local quotas are “even more widespread than previously reported, covering at least 24 detention facility contracts,” accounting for at least 12,821 of the 34,000 beds established by the national quota. Ninety-three percent of those beds are in privately-run detention facilities…

Since 2014, the mass detention of families in these prison-like facilities has been a foundation of the Obama administration’s immigration policies toward refugees from Central America, many of whom are fleeing violence and poverty worsened by U.S. policies. The human rights violations at these camps have been condemned by human rights organizations and the bipartisan U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and some have compared them to Japanese internment camps.

❝ “Almost all guaranteed minimums are found in facilities that contract with private prison companies, and ICE actively collaborates with these companies to keep details of their contracts secret,” said Ghita Schwarz, Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights…“The public should have a full understanding of how ICE rewards and incentivizes profiteering off the detention of immigrants.”…

One thing is clear: profits are soaring for GEO Group and CCA, the two largest private prison companies in the United States. Both boasted to their shareholders recently that revenues are spiking, thanks in part to the windfall from locking up families.

Cripes. Bad enough we have a government, legislative and executive alike, that maintains bullshit like crop subsidies to agribusiness giants – just because we did do for small farmers in trouble 80 years ago. To see the absurd supply-side myths of Reaganomics perpetuated by a “liberal” White House is dumber than criminal. Privatization of our prison system has achieved nothing for crime reduction or recidivism among ex-cons. It’s only made money for firms who jumped on the Republican bandwagon.

Congress reinforces the myth with our tax dollars. The White House reinforces the corruption of the whole process by maintaining deportation quotas and continuing the sleazy guarantees to provide enough detainees to keep these for-profit prisons in business.

Thanks, NikiV