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Publications (18)

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Letters to Private Equity Firms with Investments in Prison-Sector Contracts

These letters provide demands from the American Federation of Teachers and a range of ally organisations for Private Equity Firms with major stakes in private prison sector contractors to prevent exploitation and profiteering from the Covid-19 Pandemic. They include demands which can be developed for other unions and Civil Society engaged in activist-investor or pension fund campaigns.

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Unholy Alliance: California Courts’ Use of Private Debt Collectors

A new report by the California Reinvestment Coalition reveals that the privatized system of public debt collection is pervaded with systematic racism. This research showed that the collection of fines and fees is a regressive form of income generation for municipalities. Private debt collectors profit from fines and fees assessed on poor people, facilitated by the state of California. However, the revenue to counties from collecting these fines and fees is miniscule; this system only benefits the private debt collectors.

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Unmasking the Hidden Power of Cities. Using their authorities, energy and promise to secure the common good.

The Partnership for Working Families, which recently co-authored a new report on the unique power of cities to make progressive change, has launched “We Make This City,” a 10-city national campaign “for community-controlled, publicly owned institutions, structures, and services. We are fighting to ensure all people have access to the systems and structures needed to live full and healthy lives. This includes transportation systems that connect us to work, schools and services, the ability to afford housing in the communities we love, access to clean water and energy and organized power for workers who make all this possible. Public infrastructure connects us all and should serve the needs of the people, not the pockets of corporations. (…) As we struggle to meet our people’s basic needs, corporate interests tell us that they are actually the solution to our problem. Private entities are taking over our roads, our water and our schools — the building blocks of our cities — to create more profit for themselves. It isn’t working for us. The rich are getting richer and our people are suffering.”

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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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Review of the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Monitoring of Contract Prisons

Office of the Inspector Genera U.S. Department off Justice. Inspector General’s report states that, “in most key areas, contract prisons incurred more safety and security incidents per capita than comparable BOP [Bureau of Prison] institutions,” and that, “in recent years, disturbances in several federal contract prisons resulted in extensive property damage, bodily injury, and the death of a correctional officer”.

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Fact Sheet: Prisons for Profit.

Private prison companies claim to provide safe facilities that save taxpayers money. In reality, private prisons are more dangerous for inmates and staff, and often fail to deliver the savings they promise. Yet despite their track record of failure, private prison companies continue to secure contracts, spending millions on lobbyists and campaign donations to influence elected officials.

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What’s Your Bid?

Managed competition is sweeping the country as an alleged “quick fix” to the budget crises facing many cities, counties and states. It’s always best to stop privatization rather than get involved in the bidding process, by inoculating elected officials, building community coalitions and getting contractual or legal protections. Building your local’s capacity to fight privatization before it begins is the most useful tool in the box.