In January, Corazón de Tucson released a report on the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), focusing in particular on the company’s actions and impact in the state of Arizona. The report reveals that CCA recklessly pursues profit while exacting an enormous toll on inmates, their families and the public as a whole.
The report’s findings are threefold:
CCA perpetrates brutal and systematic abuses of prisoners’ rights.
The abuse of prisoners and violation of fundamental standards of human dignity is a pervasive and systemic problem throughout CCA’s network of facilities. This report examines four categories of prisoner abuse and neglect: (1) physical abuse, (2) sexual violence, (3) medical negligence and (4) poor conditions and overcrowding. The mistreatment encompassed by these four categories includes shocking degrees of cruelty and negligence, which cause extensive and unnecessary suffering and far too often have resulted in the death of inmates at CCA facilities. The conditions at CCA facilities amount to a “culture of brutality” that affects thousands of inmates at dozens of facilities nationwide.
CCA unscrupulously manipulates public policy to maximize its profit.
Prison privatization creates perverse incentives for prison operators to intervene in the political process, throwing their weight behind any legislative proposal which sends more people to prison for longer terms. CCA is the undisputed industry leader when it comes to securing new contracts and promoting favorable legislation by exerting its influence within federal and state governments. CCA has employed a three-pronged strategy to achieve its political aims: (1) lobbying, (2) campaign contributions and (3) membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council. Unconcerned with the broad social, economic or political consequences of the legislation it supports, CCA has shamelessly manipulated public policy to increase its revenue with no regard for the impact on communities, families and inmates.
CCA’s prisons and political efforts severely damage the health of the communities in which it does business.
Communities across Arizona have suffered as a result of CCA’s presence in the state. The Eloy Detention Center in Eloy, Arizona exemplifies the negative impact that CCA facilities have on families and communities. The Eloy Detention Center has accumulated an embarrassing human rights record, exacted a heavy toll on the families affected by detention and done little to improve the local community that surrounds the facility. At the state level, CCA played a crucial role in winning passage of SB 1070, state legislation that would sweep immigrants into federal custody and eventually into CCA’s immigration detention centers. Even though not fully implemented, SB 1070 has displaced tens of thousands of people, severely disrupted communities across the state and nearly triggered an economic crisis in Arizona.
Follow this link to download and read the full report on CCA.