"Penned in like farm animals. You're just immigrants, says a guard."

VICTORY! Stop private prisons from abusing immigrants

Update (8/19/16): VICTORY! The Department of Justice heard our call to put an end to inhumane, profit-driven, private prisons. DOJ just ordered the federal Bureau of Prisons to begin phasing out its use of private prisons. This is a sea change win - and with momentum on our side, we're taking on the even more lucrative system of for-profit immigration detention centers run by ICE. Take action now to end private prisons everywhere.

The federal prison system currently includes 11 prisons called Criminal Alien Requirement facilities. Built to house non-citizens convicted of federal crimes – many of whom were arrested for simply crossing the border – CAR prisons are managed on a day-to-day basis not by the Bureau of Prisons, but by private companies. These privatized facilities are held to lower standards than others in the BOP system – with devastating results for the men held there.

These men are suffering from shocking neglect of their health. For an investigation published in The Nation magazine, reporter Seth Freed Wessler obtained 9,000 pages of healthcare records from these immigrant-only prisons. Medical doctors who Wessler asked to examine the records said that in one third of the reviewable cases, inadequate medical care likely contributed to premature deaths. Men sick with cancer, HIV/AIDS, mental disabilities, and liver and heart disease faced critical delays in obtaining care that may have saved their lives.

A previous report published by the ACLU also found widespread abuse and neglect within CAR prisons, and further confirms that the United States must end this shadow privatized, immigrant-only prison system.

What’s worse, a follow up investigation by Wessler reveals that the BOP knew about the grave health problems at these prisons for years but continued their contracts anyway.

The Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections, a bipartisan task force aimed with developing practical, data-driven policy changes in our federal corrections system, recommended a large package of legislative and executive changes that will substantially reduce the number of people in BOP custody – so we don’t build more poorly managed prisons.

The Bureau of Prisons should adhere to these recommendations as well as cease new solicitations for CAR prisons contracts and immediately phase-out all existing CAR prisons. The evidence is clear: We must put a stop to the grave abuses of the CAR facilities.

Join Detention Watch Network, Grassroots Leadership, the ACLU, and The Nation in calling on the White House to end the shadow private prison system.

Read Seth Freed Wessler's article "This Man Will Almost Certainly Die" in The Nation.

  • Detention Watch Network
  • Grassroots Leadership
  • The Nation
12,764 Signed 15,000 Needed

To the White House:

Support the Colson Task Force recommendations to reduce the number of people in BOP custody. In addition, direct the BOP to cease new solicitations for CAR prison contracts and immediately phase-out all existing CAR prisons, to ensure that BOP exercises appropriate oversight over medical care and corrections operations.

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