Public wins against the for-profit prison industry
New Hampshire Says No to Private Prisons. Last year, New Hampshire governor, John Lynch, proposed privatizing the state’s entire prison system. This year, in a remarkable turnaround, the New Hampshire House passed House Bill 443, which would effectively ban private prisons in the state. The bill is now awaiting action in the Senate.
In other good news, in response to four bids to privatize several state prisons, officials rejected all four, citing their lack of understanding of legal requirements of the prison system, poor attention to inmate care, and proposed sub-standard wages for prison security staff.
Michigan Says No to Privatized Health Care. Michigan Department of Corrections decided that three prison health and food services contracts put up for bid in Michigan will be kept under state operation because of insufficient savings in the company proposals. Not only will this win keep intact nearly 1,700 state workers’ jobs, but it will ensure public control of safety requirements at facilities.
Florida Says No to GEO Stadium. For-profit prison giant, GEO Group’s plans to buy the naming rights to Florida Atlantic University’s new football stadium has been stopped in its tracks. Thanks to widespread pressure from concerned citizens, including a spot on The Colbert Report, and the hard work of student organizers, FAU will remain free of private prison interests!
Colorado Eliminates Private beds. Colorado’s budget plan includes push back against the private prison industry. Funding was taken away from over 400 private prison beds, including 318 managed by the private prison company Corrections Corporation of America. The plan also includes a commitment to prioritize public corrections facilities.
Texas Senate Says No to CCA. On March 20th the Texas Senate passed its budget that included riders that would zero out funding for two CCA-operated facilities — Dawson State Jail and Mineral Wells. This is the result of the work of a broad coalition of faith, labor, criminal justice, civil and human rights organizations, as well as several key legislators who have stepped up as leaders. The bill now moves to conference committee.