Saturday, May 12, 2012

ACTION ITEM: ACLU on Prison Privatization

It was a little less than a year ago – when a whistleblower stepped forward in Cincinnati at the Task Force Summit of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and 800+ pieces of ALEC legislation were released – which opened the eyes of the nation and it was the beginning of getting answers to questions we had.

From the drop of ALEC legislation came and the series of articles in The Nation that Exposed ALEC.

One of the articles in The Nation had to do with privatization of prisons in the United States and ALEC’s role in making this a profitable industry.

Although a wide variety of goods have long been produced by state and federal prisoners for the US government—license plates are the classic example, with more recent contracts including everything from guided missile parts to the solar panels powering government buildings—prison labor for the private sector was legally barred for years, to avoid unfair competition with private companies. But this has changed thanks to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), its Prison Industries Act, and a little-known federal program known as PIE (the Prison Industries Enhancement Certification Program). While much has been written about prison labor in the past several years, these forces, which have driven its expansion, remain largely unknown.

Well – almost a year later the ACLU is stepping up to plate and wants to have a discussion with CCA (Corrections Corpoation of America) about prison privatization. 

Help them make that debate happen.

By David Fathi, National Prison Project & David Shapiro, National Prison Project at 3:37pm
Even as for-profit facilities lock up nearly 130,000 prisoners and take in billions of taxpayer dollars each year, these prisons remain shrouded in secrecy. The time has come for a robust public debate about the role of private prisons in our society.  

That’s why the ACLU just sent a letter to Damon Hininger, the head Corrections Corporation of America – the world’s largest private prison company – challenging him to a public debate on the merits of prison privatization. You can urge him to accept our invitation by taking action here.

The key question: Should private prisons exist? It’s a question being asked across America, in corrections departments and legislatures, in communities and churches. In January, the United Methodist Church divested itself of all private prison stock holdings; in February, Florida legislators killed a plan to privatize nearly 30 prisons; in April, the Illinois Senate passed a bill to block plans for a privately-run federal immigration lockup.

GO TO >>>>THIS WEBPAGE<<< and sign the request for this debate.
I am convinced it is a dialogue – we need to hear and we deserve to hear.

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