A recent Associated Press article describing prison industry profiteering on immigrantscommunities was picked up by outlets across the country, including the USA Today and ABC News. The article describes the “seismic shift” which has occurred over the past ten years and has seen the immigration detention system shift toward wholesale privatization. This massive increase in privatized detention beds has been an incredible boon for the industry, saving CCA from the verge bankruptcy and generating tens of millions of new dollars in annual profit for both CCA and GEO Group.
The article also details prison industry efforts to influence public policy through campaign contributions and lobbying. Although industry representatives flatly deny intervening in the political process to generate increased revenues, the AP story provides more than enough evidence to reveal the heavy hand that companies like GEO Group and CCA have in shaping state and federal policy regarding immigration enforcement and detention. As Peter Cervantes-Gautschi – organizer with the National Private Prison Divestment Campaign – comments, the millions of dollars spent every year on lobbying and campaign contributions is “a lot of money to listen quietly.”
Read the full AP story here.