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New report: Private prisons (including one in NC) reap big profits from warehousing immigrants

Prisoner

Photo credit: ACLU

From the good folks at the ACLU of North Carolina:

Report Shows Federal Bureau of Prisons Incentivizes Mistreatment, Shields Immigrant Prisons from Scrutiny

WINTON, NC – Rivers Correctional Institution in Hertford County, North Carolina, is one of the 13 little-known CAR (Criminal Alien Requirement) prisons for immigrants in the United States. For a new report, “Warehoused and Forgotten: Immigrants Trapped in Our Shadow Private Prison Industry,” the American Civil Liberties Union and ACLU of Texas have investigated three CAR prisons in Texas run by GEO Group, the same private prison company that operates Rivers Correction Institution in North Carolina. The report reveals inhumane conditions and egregious mistreatment of immigrants awaiting deportation in prisons removed from the public eye that enrich the for-profit prison industry at tremendous cost to taxpayers.

The culmination of a four-year investigation, the report shows how the federal Bureau of Prisons incentivizes private prison companies to keep CAR prisons overcrowded and understaffed. The companies provide scant medical care that is often administered incorrectly, if delivered at all.

“At the CAR prisons we investigated, the prisoners lived day to day not knowing if their basic human needs would be met, whether they would get medical attention if they were hurt or ill,” said Carl Takei, Staff Attorney at the ACLU’s National Prison Project. “The shameful conditions inside CAR prisons come from the government’s decision to allow the suffering inside these for-profit prisons. For instance, ten percent of the bed space in CAR prisons is reserved for extreme isolation — nearly double the rate in normal federal prisons. I spoke to prisoners who spent weeks in isolation cells after being sent there upon intake — simply arriving at prison was the reason why they were locked in a cell and fed through a slot for 23 hours a day.”

According to the report, prisoners at the three GEO Group-run CAR prisons in Texas have reported that they are often denied necessary medical treatment, frequently put in isolation cells, and are forced to live in cramped, overcrowded conditions. A prisoner protest during the summer of 2013 at the GEO Group-operated Reeves County Detention Center reportedly ended with guards tear-gassing dormitories, shooting rubber bullets, locking down the entire facility, and punishing prisoners by putting them in extreme isolation. The improvements the prisoners had hoped to achieve – better medical care, more food, and less crowded living conditions – never came.

Click here to read the report.

 

 

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