Halt the Growth of the Private Prison Industry

Private Prisons

Target: The Obama administration

Goal: Prevent the growth of the private prison industry..

According to a recent Huffington Post investigation, the private prison industry has figured out how to grow and profit despite the economic downturn by filling its facilities with an increasing number of detained undocumented immigrants. The two largest for-profit prison companies have more than doubled their revenues from detaining immigrants since 2005. And according to the Department of Homeland Security, nearly half of immigrant detainees are being held in privately owned facilities – a decade ago, the number was only one fourth.

Private prison companies receive federal payment depending on the number of prisoners they house. So more immigrant detainees means more revenue for the companies. The investigation found that the private prison industry has increased its lobbying efforts over the last decade in an attempt to encourage Congress to provide the industry with more funding as well as more federal inmates to be housed.

President Bush created the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) after the September 11 attacks as a means to tighten security at US borders. And the private prison industry saw an opportunity for more inmates. Before DHS was created, one of the largest private prison companies Corrections Corporation of America rarely spent more than $500,000 on lobbying efforts each year. Since its creation however, the company has spent at least $1.8 million a year to lobby Congress for federal funding and inmates.

As private prison companies call for legislation that would allow for more arrests and detentions to take place at the border, their massive lobbying efforts can only hinder attempts to develop an effective immigration reform policy. It is time that the Obama administration take action to prevent growth of the private prison industry in the future. Sign the petition below to push policymakers one step closer to successfully taking US immigration policy out of the hands of private prison corporations.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Obama administration,

According to a recent Huffington Post investigation, the private prison industry is profiting from the present US immigration policy by filling its facilities with unprecedented numbers of detained undocumented immigrants. The investigation further found that the industry has drastically increased its lobbying efforts over the last decade since the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and the subsequent campaign to tighten border security.

As private prison companies call for legislation that would allow for more arrests and detentions to take place at the border, I am concerned that their massive lobbying efforts can only hinder attempts to develop an effective immigration reform policy. Consequently, I urge you to prevent future growth of the industry by passing a law to prohibit the construction of additional privately owned detention facilities. I hope that limiting the influence of the private prison industry will allow you to listen closely to the diverse voices of the immigration debate and ultimately come one step closer to successfully taking US immigration policy out of the hands of private prison corporations.

Sincerely

[Your Name Here]

Sign the Petition

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37 Signatures

  • Hermann Kastner
  • Eric von Borstel
  • Mal Gaff
  • Terrie Phenicie
  • Holly Hall
  • Jutta Taraniuk
  • Melanie waleski
  • Ricki Newman
  • sundriya grubb
  • Kara Graul
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