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Republicans Say Forced Labor Is Good for Detained Immigrants in Letter Defending Private Prison

Private, for-profit prison companies that force immigrant detainees to work for little or no money have some new supporters: eighteen Republican members of Congress. The lawmakers “sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Department of Labor, calling for them to help private-prison company GEO Group defend itself in lawsuits by former detainees. (… ) GEO Group filed the congressmen’s letter with U.S. District Court in the Central District of California on March 12 as part of the Novoa v. GEO Group suit. It argues that immigrants should not be able to sue prison companies because they aren’t employees there, and that paying them $1 per day for their work is lawful. The letter also said that the allegedly forced labor saves the government money and improves detainees’ morale.” Three of the lawmakers are from Georgia, which has a dark history of chain gangs, convict leasing, cruelty and forced labor

Source: The Daily Beast

GEO Group made a campaign donation to a Super-PAC backing Donald Trump

The day after the U.S. Department of Justice announced it was phasing out the use of private, for-profit prisons, GEO Group made a campaign donation to a Super-PAC backing Donald Trump. “While Hillary Clinton has sharply criticised private prisons, Trump has expressed support for expanding their use, and his policy proposals, including his plan to deport millions of undocumented immigrants, could be a boon for the industry. In addition to backing Trump, the company recently brought on three lobbying firms to represent its interests in Washington. In the Public Interest has published a comprehensive report on how private prison companies are buying influence to expand their control of the U.S. criminal justice system.

Private Prison Companies Are Embracing Alternatives to Incarceration

Last Thursday, private prison stocks dropped like a rock when the Department of Justice announced that it would be phasing out its use of for-profit detention facilities. If you were an investor who had no ethical qualms about profiting from an industry that’s been accused of perpetrating a number of human rights abuses, it would have been a good time to buy. It turns out that reports of the industry’s imminent death have been greatly exaggerated.

Source: The Nation

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Buying Influence. How Private Prison Companies Expand Their Control of America’s Criminal Justice System

"In the Public Interest" has published a comprehensive report on how private prison companies are buying influence to expand their control of the U.S. criminal justice system. This report explores the ways corrections companies influence public officials. It is divided into three sections, each of which studies a separate avenue of influence: campaign contributions, lobbying, and professional corrections associations.

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