Dismantling The Private Prison Industry

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Dismantling The Private Prison Industry
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Dismantling The Private Prison Industry says
The private prison industry has been profiting off of the incarceration of individuals and families since the 1980s. Private prison corporations have grown as a result of congressional mandates including mandatory minimum sentencing and bed-quotas for detained immigrants. The federal government currently contracts with private corporations to house 12% of federal prisoners and 73% of detained immigrants. Private prisons are incentive-driven to incarcerate as many individuals as possible, as cheaply as possible. As a result, these facilities systematically abuse the rights of the individuals they are tasked with protecting. Corrections Corporation of America, the country’s biggest and most notorious private prison contractor, reported revenue of 1.9 billion dollars in 2015. Corporations like CCA operate country jails, state prisons, federal prisons, immigrant detention centers, and family detention centers all over the nation.

This summer, the Department of Justice announced that it will stop the practice of housing federal prisoners in private facilities, citing safety, security, and efficacy concerns. The Department of Homeland Security subsequently announced that it will “reevaluate” its practice of housing immigrant detainees in private detention centers. These developments can be credited to the tireless efforts of advocates who investigate, publicize, and condemn the conditions in privately-run facilities. With the recent Presidential election, however, we are facing the danger of backsliding on the issue of corporate control of prisons.

Panelists will paint a picture of the problems inherent in private prisons and share their experiences in working to dismantle them.


Azadeh Shahshahani, Legal and Advocacy Director, Project South; Past President, National Lawyers Guild

Carl Takei, Staff Attorney, National Prison Project, ACLU

Seth Freed Wessler, Independent Investigative Journalist; Author of influential series on immigrant-only federal prisons

Brian Spears, Attorney, G. Brian Spears, P.C.

Moderated By:

Sara Totonchi, Executive Director, Southern Center for Human Rights

There will be a reception beginning at 6:00 p.m. The program will be from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. For more questions the day of the event, please contact Matthew Weiss at 404-527-4383.
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By: American Constitution Society - Georgia Lawyer Chapter

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