By Caroline Isaacs
Tucson- A Quaker group that has been advocating against prison privatization in Arizona is organizing a demonstration and press conference for CCA's 30th anniversary. The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and other organizations and churches say that the corporation's track record and practice of profiting from incarceration is nothing to celebrate.
The event will take place on Monday, May 13th from 4:00-5:00pm in front of the DeConcini Federal Courthouse, 405 W. Congress in Downtown Tucson.
Here in Arizona, CCA operates 6 facilities, holding prisoners from Arizona (in 2014), California, Vermont, and Hawaii as well as federal prisoners. CCA is one of the main beneficiaries of harsh immigrant enforcement and detention policies, such as SB 1070 and Operation Streamline. A publicly-traded company, in 2010, CCA saw record revenue of $1.67 billion, up $46 million from 2009.
The event is part of a week of national actions against Corrections Corporation of America, which will celebrate its anniversary on May 16th at a shareholder meeting in Nashville, TN, where its corporate headquarters are located. There will be demonstrations there as well in other states including Ohio and Washington, DC.grassrootsleadership.org/blog/2013/05/humpday-hall-shame-30-years-profit-prisons-are-nothing-celebrate
Organizers cite widespread problems in CCA and other for-profit prisons around the country, including prisoner abuses, cost overruns, staffing problems, lawsuits, and violence.
The American Friends Service Committee released a report in 2012 on private prisons in Arizona that showed that the private prisons under contract with the state cost more than equivalent units operated by the Department of Corrections. The report also reveals the extensive political and economic influence wielded by the corporations, which spend millions every year on lobbying and campaign contributions. afsc.org/document/private-prisons-publics-problem
The event will feature the following speakers:
The American Friends Service Committee is a non-profit organization that works for justice and human rights both nationally and internationally. The Arizona office, based in Tucson, advocates for criminal justice reform.
The Law Office of Rachel Wilson
ACLU of Arizona
Social Action participants of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of NW Tucson/MVUU
Progressive Democrats of America-Tucson
End Streamline Coalition
St Francis in the Foothills United Methodist Church
Arizona Prison Watch
Southside Presbyterian Church
Rincon Congregational Church United Church of Christ
Eastside Tucson Democrats