August 18, 2016, New York – In response to the news that the Department of Justice will cease to use private prisons, the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:
CCR welcomes the DOJ’s announcement that it will end the Bureau of Prisons' use of private prisons over the next five years. The Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement – whose civil immigration detention facilities form a far larger component of private prison contractors’ portfolios – must immediately follow the DOJ’s example. Locking up immigrants, including families and children fleeing extreme violence in Central America, should not be a source of profit for huge corporations, particularly given private contractors’ terrible record providing inadequate medical and mental health care to dying immigrants.
These corporations continue to fight our clients at Detention Watch Network to keep the financial terms of their contracts with the government secret – they know that public awareness of how their profiteering works may undermine their enormous influence over detention policy, which has given them control over 62 percent of immigration detention beds. It’s time to end the role of CCA, GEO, and other prison profiteers in our inhumane immigration system.
The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.