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Check out our legislative priorities for the Ohio General Assembly this session.
We look forward to working with legislators on both sides of the aisle to:
- Reduce the overflowing prison population
- Increase privacy protections
- Ensure fair and free elections
- Protect the rights of families
See the current Ohio General Assembly Committee Hearing Schedule for legislation with a civil liberties component.
Current Action Alerts
Prisons for profit are a multi-billion-dollar industry that depends on, and profits from, our national addiction to incarceration. Handing control of prisons over to for-profit companies is a recipe for abuse, neglect, and misconduct. Private prisons create dangerous atmospheres with a severe lack of oversight, and do little to encourage rehabilitation.
You can take action to stop this company from profiting off housing immigrants at the Youngstown federal prison.
The National ACLU released an in-depth report about immigration prisons run by for-profit companies. Warehoused and Forgotten: Immigrants Trapped in Our Shadow Private Prison System, highlights several problems with criminal alien requirement prison including:
- prison staff using extreme isolation arbitrarily and abusively;
- lack of appropriate medical care;
- policies enforcing overpopulation and a lack of programming and recreation;
- preventing family members from visiting loved ones held in detention;
- a culture of secrecy leading to a lack of transparency and accountability.
Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) is a private, for-profit company that is contracted to operate the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center in Youngstown. CCA is currently under FBI Investigation for running a “gladiator prison” in Idaho among other concerns. CCA has only one bottom line: money.
CCA took over operations of the Youngtown federal prison in 1997. Within a year, several prisoners were stabbed and two were murdered. Six escaped. The prison closed for a few years, then reopened, still under CCA management. Conditions there were so bad at one point that prisoners had to bring a lawsuit just to make the place livable. Things are not much better now.
CCA also purchased the state prison Lake Erie Correctional Institute in Conneaut, Ohio in 2011. In its first 18 months of operation, the facility saw an 187.5% increase in inmate on inmate violence, a 300% increase in inmate on staff violence, and rising levels of drug contraband leading to two heroin overdoses. State inspections found dozens of violations including inmates without access to running water and defecating in plastic bags, resulting in fines of nearly $500,000.
CCA’s contract to house immigration prisoners at the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center ends in 2015, but is set to be renewed this year.
Tell the Federal Bureau of Prisons to end its contract with Corrections Corporation of America to stop housing immigration prisoners to generate profit. Take Action Now! We’ve already prepared language to get you started.