To whom it may concern,
This past April 3rd, 2014 the Corrections Corporation of America filed a notification with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Included in that notification was a list of nominees to serve on the Board of Directors for the coming year. Notably absent from that list was my name, Dennis DeConcini.
Friends, colleagues, and fellow profiteers have been contacting me since the list’s publication with questions and concerns. This letter is an attempt to address those concerns.
Russell Pearce, the recently disgraced legislator whom CCA worked closely with to pass SB 1070, called wondering why I had given up such a lucrative endeavor. I explained to him that the public pressure had gotten to me. It was one thing to have to face questions from reporters, but it was quite another to have your feet put to the fire by families whose loved ones have been incarcerated. Those people are powerful. Those people are organized.
Joe Arpaio called to check in as well. I have known him since he asked me to help campaign for his run for sheriff in 2008. He told me what he always appreciated was my ability to say one thing and then line my pockets with another, like the time I “spoke” out against anti-immigrant legislation while I continued to profit from their incarceration in CCA detention centers. He said he was concerned that perhaps I had lost my backbone. I explained to him that the organizing in the community in Tucson had made it such that all of my efforts, whether it be my work to fortify the school-to-prison pipeline as a member of the AZ board of regents or with my law firm representing the Tucson Unified School District, were untenable. Both TUSD and Pima Community College cut their contracts with my law firm and I could not even go to Board of Regents meetings anymore for fear of having to face the community.
Then president Obama called to say he was sad to see I was leaving the industry. He reminded me that the federal government still has lucrative contracts with the private prison industry to fill immigration beds in CCA detention centers. I responded that the movement to end criminalization of immigrants is growing. He had better watch out because they have set their sights on him now. I advised him to stop detaining and deporting families if he wanted to avoid my fate as a pariah in the immigrant community.
I plan on returning to my three mansions and spending my days sipping wine and eating cheese in seclusion. I still have more than $500,000 in stock assets from CCA. The community in Tucson is an organized one. I just hope they don’t come after me to pay that money back to the people whose freedom I profited from.
Dennis W. DeConcini