[Rather than sharing articles like this one about private prisons, we are re-printing this article from 2015. Do not get pacified by tiny changes.]
Social justice activists love to hate private prisons. The loathing is easy to justify. Making profit by locking people up and keeping them there is repulsive. Moreover, major private prison operators like the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and the GEO Group have a history of tragedy and ruthless behavior. From the early days of CCA when cofounder Tom Beasley described marketing prisons as “just like … selling cars, or real estate, or hamburgers” to more recent revelations of locking up preschoolers, private prisons have plumbed the depths of immorality. And they have thrown money at the project, spending millions on lobbying for harsher sentencing laws to secure their bottom lines, even bribing judges to incarcerate juveniles. Continue reading
Submitted to It’s Going Down
A feisty group of protestors took on the annual shareholder’s meeting of the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) in Nashville on May 12th. Among the 50 to 60 people who gathered were former prisoners from CCA facilities, religious radicals, members of peace and justice groups, and a large contingent of rural queer and trans folks, including many anarchists.
One contingent held a steady presence by the entrance to the meeting at the CCA corporate headquarters, confronting shareholders and employees as they entered and exited, and hearing from a number of speakers discussing private prisons and exploitation. Another rowdy crew marched to a nearby major road and disrupted traffic, blockaded the road leading to the CCA headquarters at two different intersections, and confronted police before marching back to rejoin the rest of the protest. An activist shareholder from Prison Legal News returned to the demonstration and reported on the proceedings inside, and energetic protesters harangued the profiteers as they left the parking lot.
Attendees at the demonstration distributed literature about CCA’s slimy profiteering from racist mass incarceration, their role in promoting policies that maximize sentences and destroy communities, scandals around corruption, riots, and deaths in their facilities over the last year, and the particularly terrible conditions in CCA prisons that stem directly from their profit motive, as minimizing expenses on health care, food, and other basic necessities translates directly into more money for their shareholders. Protesters also promoted the upcoming national prison work stoppage planned for September of this year, handing out hundreds of copies of “This is a Call to Action Against Slavery in America.” Continue reading