Please paste this letter into a document or email to your State Senators or Representatives:
I’MSHOCKED, and I hope you are also … !!
Our government prides itself for being a democracy of the people, for the people and by the people. I am learning more and more about a private prison industry that we – the people, the taxpayers – are paying for, and I am appalled by its injustice, its inhumanity, and its cost!
- Since 2007, Congress has approved federal funding for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency to detain at least 34,000 persons per day in detention facilities. This number includes men, women and children - most of whom are certainly NOT violent offenders.
- The 2 largest private prison companies – the GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of America – have spent millions of dollars in lobbying efforts and campaign contributions, and these efforts have “paid off” for THEM! In 2014, CCA made $195,000,000 and the GEO group made $143,800,000 in PROFITS!!
- While these private prisons make outlandish amounts of money each year, immigrant detainees and other prisoners are NOT benefitting from improvements in these facilities. Overcrowded and unsanitary conditions abound, rampant corruption, mistreatment of inmates and inhuman conditions are all too often daily realities of life for those who are detained.
- Many private prison contracts mandate that federal, state and local governments maintain a certain occupancy rate – usually 90% or more – and even require payment (at the taxpayers’ expense!) for empty beds.
As one of the people in our American democratic system, I do NOT want to support this travesty of justice that supports the private prisons industry. I DO want our tax money to be used for programs of community support, education, health and well-being of ALL those people who find themselves on American soil. I ask you and your office to participate in further education on this issue of private prison systems, to join us in our efforts to eradicate it, AND to support more humane and just efforts for comprehensive prison reform as well as comprehension immigration reform. As a person of faith, I believe that this will benefit all the people of this country which we love! Please join efforts by Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Adam Smith (D-WA) and others who seek to abolish the bed mandate and private prison injustices that presently plague our country. Thank you for your attention and your action on this issue!