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Private Prison Corporations and Anti-Immigrant Legislation

Private Prison Corporations and Anti-immigrant Legislation

Recently the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA),
one of the largest private prison corporations, sent a letter
to 48 of the 50 state governors in the U.S., asking that they
(CCA) be hired to run the prisons in the state, for profit.  CCA promises that the prisons will be profitable for the next 20 years and will have at least a 90 percent occupancy rate.

CCA, along with GEO Group another of the largest private prison corporations, has been very influential in writing the anti-immigrant legislation, such as Arizona’s S.B. 1070 behind closed doors with politicians and other influential members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  Through involvement in the leadership of ALEC, private prison companies have played a key role in lobbying for and passing harsher sentencing for nonviolent offenses. They are also behind the recent outpouring of anti-immigrant state laws that are putting more and more immigrants behind bars – immigrants, especially Latino immigrants have become the new profit center for the prison industrial complex.

Who befits from the anti-immigrant legislation? The private prison industry is the beneficiary with sky-rocketing profits.

Former U.S. senator Dennis DeConcini from Arizona acknowledged his embarrassment about the law and said "Who is the target of 1070? If anyone tells you it is only the drug- and gun-trafficking criminals, they are mistaken. SB 1070 targets those with brown skin. And in my state, those are my neighbors, my friends," DeConcini said. "Whenever you mix politics and law enforcement, you create a toxic environment, and that is what's happened."

Catholic Social Teaching defines the person not only as sacred but also social.  How we organize our society – in economics and politics, in law and policy - directly affects human dignity and the capacity of individuals to grow in community....family is a central institution that must be supported and strengthened. We believe people have a right and a duty to participate in society, seeking the common good and well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable. www.usccb.org. 7 Themes of CST

Write a letter to your governor , stating:

  • No one, person nor corporation, should profit from the incarceration of human beings. To do so equates to human trafficking.
  • As people of faith, we believe in rehabilitation and restorative justice, not more stringent and lengthier criminal enforcement for non-criminal acts
  • Say NO to the privatization of prisons in our state
  • Urge her/him to make a public commitment to no privatization of prisons in our state by June 1, 2012


Bernardine Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis
450 St. Bernardine Street, Reading, PA 19607      |      484-334-6957      |    © 2012

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